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Welcome - Issue 15

Welcome to latest edition of the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter!

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- The EconomicDevelopment.org Team

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Featured Contributor: Trudy Parsons

Trudy Parsons

By Tarryn Landman

In this edition of our Featured Contributor series, I interviewed Trudy Parsons, Director of Workforce Development at Millier Dickinson Blais.  Trudy primarily contributes to our Workforce section, covering a range of topics related to workforce development in her posts.

Tell me how you first got involved in workforce development? How long have you been in the field? Where are you now?

I had an interesting start to my career in workforce development. While employed with Olivetti Canada I was responsible for helping individuals develop skills and knowledge on what started out as an electronic typewriter and then advanced to word processors! I was recognized for my ability to help individuals understand the concepts and improve their ability to operate these office products. At the time I didn’t consider this workforce development, nor did I ever image that it would lead me to where I am in my career today.

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Tech and economic development in the inner City

By Norman Jacknis

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) was created twenty years ago by the famed strategy professor at Harvard Business School Professor, Michael Porter.  ICIC focuses on economic development strategies for inner cities. The stated mission is “to drive economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment to create jobs, income and wealth for local residents”.

As part of their What Works For Cities series, on January 23, 2014 the ICIC held a webinar for about two hundred attendees on “How inner cities can increase the impact of technology clusters”.  On behalf of the Intelligent Community Forum I was one of the invited speakers.

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The emergence of Strategic Doing: Strategy for open, loosely joined networks

By Ed Morrison

Conventional approaches to strategic planning do not work well to meet the complex challenges we face in our economies today.

The reason is simple.

Strategic planning does not work in open networks. Traditional strategy practices emerged from large hierarchical, “command and control” corporations. A small group of people at the top of the organization did the thinking, while rest of the people did the doing.

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Job Growth in 2014 Could Prove to Be a Mixed Bag


By all indications, 2013 was a year of robust economic growth. The stock market reached unprecedented highs, the U.S. government sold off its last shares of GM stock—effectively concluding the bailout of the automaker, and an uptick in hiring put residents back to work.

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Shaping the framework for an Ontario labour force strategy

By Trudy Parsons

A report completed by McKinsey Global Institute (The world at work: Jobs, pay and skills for 3.5 billion people, McKinsey Global Institute, June 2012, p.2-3) warns that the forces that have caused imbalances in advanced economies in recent years will grow stronger and that similar mismatches between the skills those workers can offer and what employers seek will appear in developing economies. The result will be that far too few workers will have advanced skills needed to drive a high-productivity economy and there will be far too few job opportunities for low skill workers in developing economies.  Bottom line:  the demand for talent is heating up and unless strategic approaches are taken, Ontario will find itself on a slippery slope.

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Review: Screw Business as Usual

By Tarryn Landman

It's not often we review books here that start off like a tabloid cover story, complete with Kate Winslet heroically rescuing an elderly woman from a fire and the author running naked into a cactus bush during a hurricane, but then we don’t often review works by larger-than-life billionaires like Richard Branson. In his rather cheekily titled 2011 book Screw Business as Usual (it’s been sitting on the “to read” pile for quite a while…), Branson argues that a new approach to business is needed to meet the social and environmental challenges the world is facing.

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