Anxious as we are to experience economic development (ED) to scale, as the walls of diminishing opportunities fall around us, we must ask ourselves: ‘what is economic development and what is it expected to accomplish?’ Disturbingly, I do not see clarity of this powerful concept, as I have come to understand it over the years in the U.S. context. Having my own planning practice to assist community-based organisations, municipalities, and the non-profit sector, as well as teaching certification courses, I realised that my greatest asset was an a listener and observer. I believe this is a critical role. The time comes to ask many questions, knowing that they can’t be answered until stakeholders better understand the implications of their quest. Too often, the instinct is to write a proposal to bring in some funds, instead of understanding their true purpose in life. At all levels, ED practice must become a … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Fernando Centeno has served as an economic development consultant for a number of years in both government and non-profit sectors. He is a member of the American Planning Association’s Economic Development Division, and is a graduate of Harvard University’s M. Ed. Programme. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.
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