Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council with headquarters in Washington D.C. in this interview discusses America's long history of specialized economic development professionals, working for cities, regions and states.
Economic development is a key component of and often the main motivation behind initiatives aimed at building a strong, competitive place brand. It is a balancing act between stimulating economic growth and sustainable development. In his interview, Jeff Finkle tells us how 21st century economic development professionals tackle this and other challenges.
- What economic development is all about;
- How place management and place branding relate to economic development;
- Whether economic development organizations are prepared for the 'smart city' challenge;
- How to measure the success (ROI) of economic development initiatives;
- 3 books every economic development professional should read.
Jeff, do you remember the first time you heard about economic development? What got you interested?
I think the first time that I heard the words, I was probably in college. The first time I understood the words, I was working for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As I have worked in the field of economic development over many years, I think I have learned that my life has been a microsim of intersections with the term.
I grew up in the rust belt and saw the closures of many factories. I saw people lose jobs as a result of a military base closure. My hometown community had a beautiful downtown and then it was not so beautiful anymore, but now it is coming back.
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