6uwu8KfUTSHc6sHH8HJkCPgZV4w Digital City Briefs - 30 Global Cities: Networks, Leadership and Metro Business Plans

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Networks, Leadership and Metro Business Plans

They are smart about their goals and how to measure them; confident enough to resist cookie-cutter strategies; sophisticated about their place in the global economy; clever about balancing short-term wins and long-term aspirations; and open to people representing a spectrum of groups, interests and sectors.

The authors argue that new social technologies, which create, inform and mobilize fluid and unpredictable networks are redefining leadership as a populist rather than an elitist phenomenon. In stead of focusing on the consumption economy by chasing commercial development and condo builders, the metros have to focus on drivers that truly generate growth, such as manufacturing, innovation, export industries and metro wide supply chains. More innovation in one sector leads to innovation in other sectors as well as entrepreneurship and job creation throughout the metro, because the ideas intermix, recombine and explode in new directions.

With the uncertain future of federal and state dollars, metros have to rely on shared public service agreements and reorienting their economic development strategies to foreign direct investment, skilled migration and exports. In order to compete and thrive in the global economy, they must measure what matters: export orientation, migration patterns, industry clusters, innovative capacity and human capital. They should focus on areas that influence their metro’s economic success such as competitiveness, economic development, infrastructure, trade, globalization, science and innovation, energy and governance.

Each metro area will need to develop its own metro profile or a metropolitan business plan. The profile for New York City will be different from that of San Francisco or Los Angeles. “For example, metros with concentrations in financial services, like New York, are forming tight, interlocking networks for the continual transfer of knowledge, workers and capital with similarly focused metros around the world: London, Frankfurt, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney.”

Social media can be leveraged to amplify citizens’ sense of empowerment. It can help the government come closer to the citizens. A government can often reach hard to reach groups using social media. A government can also be proactive about responding to misinformation quickly before they go viral.

Reference: Katz, Bruce and Jennifer Bradley, Mastering the Metro, Americancity.org, May 21, 2012
Photo Credit:     Ale Okada under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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