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Welcome - Issue 20

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! As we enter into the new year, we'd like to thank you all for being a part of the EconomicDevelopment.org community.  We are looking forward to a great 2015!

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Memo to elected officials: Collaboration is the only way out

Strategic doing banner

By Ed Morrison

It's about to get ugly.

In the coming years, state and local financial pressures will be relentlessly increasing. Economic growth will not generate enough momentum to take our state and local governments out of the hole. As the US General Accountability Office has demonstrated, operating deficits will be growing for as far as the eye can see.

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The Higher ED Blog: How to brand a community without public consensus

By Michelle Madden

Consensus is for cowards.

That’s a bold statement; let’s unpack it before moving on. We refer to ‘the public’ as a single entity but everyone knows that this entity is made up of many groups with many opinions. We can’t even expect the majority of the public to have the same opinion—unless there are only two choices.  Public engagement and transparency in government processes are undoubtedly important but anyone who has gone through a consultation process knows that getting people to agree is difficult business. In most cases, reaching consensus means diluting the thing being considered until most people are not angry.

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Small town, big economic story

By Norman Jacknis

n a town of 2,300 people in the countryside of Mississippi create a future for itself with broadband?  The answer is yes if you speak to the visionary leader of Quitman – its Mayor, Eddie Fulton – and about two dozen community leaders from business, education, churches, health care and other fields.

Quitman is not what you might think of as the likely star of a broadband economic development story. It has suffered de-population, economic difficulties, community tensions and all the other problems people in many small towns have witnessed.

Then along comes the Mississippi-based telecommunications company, C-Spire that announced it would deploy Gigabit Internet connection through fiber to the homes in a small number of communities.

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12 learning moments at #EDAC14

By Clark Hoskin

The annual conference of the Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) was held in Calgary in September 2014. Here are some of the highlights of information that I learned.

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The opportunity presented in a shopping mall

By Luke McKee

At some point, things are forced to change in  order to survive.  The need for innovation and creativity are constant in the business world today, and shopping malls are no exception.  Once the premier destination of any major city, malls are increasingly being pushed out of focus by the developing world of online shopping.  It’s not just eBay and Amazon though, individual shop owners are making their products available online, allowing consumers to browse from the comfort of their own home.  Online shopping has become the norm for many people and the effects of that shift are touched upon by Andrew Redden, who saw the mall as becoming obsolete in his post, “Will e-commerce kill the mall?“   While it may not seem like shopping malls are less busy given the holiday season, there is a decrease in consumers who are attending shopping malls across the world.

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Ontario students among the most computer-savvy in the world

By Taylor McCready

This generation’s youth are extremely tech-reliant and confident, so much so in Ontario that a recent study ranked Ontario students among the most computer-savvy in the world.

Out of a possible 600 points, grade 8 Ontario students scores 547 leaving the international average of 500, 47 points behind.

Computer literacy is more important than ever as the use of technology in schools has now become an essential part of learning. Students need to know how to navigate and use different technologies effectively.  With more than one-third of Ontario students ranking in the top two levels of computer literacy, it is one area our schools are excelling at.

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