“..because the execution of an idea is always more important than the brilliance of the thought..”
– Executing Your Strategy – by Morgan, Levitt & Maleck – Harvard Business Publishing
During the last few decades, the challenges to manage cities and towns has become increasingly more complex.
Today we live in a time that for some means post-crises and austerity with shrinking economies and crumbling welfare systems, and for others means unprecedented growth and surplus funds to spend and invest.
What differs from earlier times, is that that old trends and paradigms are broken. The advanced economies, especially in Europe and Japan, are in dire straits, and the emerging economies suddenly seems to be leading the development in The World.
In China urban city planning is reaching unprecedented ambitions. Singapore reboots as the first Smart Nation. In Europe, the city of Lodz is completely redeveloping the centre, but still preserving the cultural heritage. In Africa, Nairobi has become a world-leading-hub of Apps development. Something new is happening and it is important for Place Managers across The World to understand what is going on and where it may lead.
In Europe, new deals and newer before seen ambitions to develop smart competitiveness are pushed forward relentlessly by the European Union, racing to re-ignite economic growth before the debt mountains overwhelm the European national economies.
Methodologies for how to work with smart specialisation, how to work with fact based place branding through story-telling in the language of the Millennial´s and how to leverage infra-structure investments through new financial models have been developed and tested, although this is not yet so well known.
We in Bearing often find ourselves in the epicentre of the new development. When we work on projects in Scandinavia, in East Europe, in China and in East and South Africa, we encounter new ambitions, new trends and new thoughts that we believe are worth bringing to the attention of the World.
Three years ago we launched a book about Place Management. To a large extent that book is now already aged and out of fashion (1). There is a need to document the examples and methodology from the new times, for how to create complex, innovation driven place management projects. We have therefore decided to develop a new book to share our experiences and methodologies.
In a new book about Place Excellence, which Bearing aims to publish in in the autumn 2015, we will pay a close attention to the new challenges, roles and soft-concept skills of progressive Place Managers for the successful development of regions and places.
The book is about the crucial concept of innovation and the key role of the place manager for successful development of cities, towns, regions and other places.
This leadership role of the Place Manager is crucial especially in the post-crises days when national governments have less control over economic development than they have had in the past, due to globalisation and the debt crises in many countries. Today the Place Manager is alone in his task, as we live in The New Age of Cities.
The book will be an essential reading for decision-makers who are directly or indirectly instrumental in local and regional development, such as leading politicians and senior officials in government, the local community and academia, as well as business company executives, directors, managers and business developers.
Moreover the book will guide the readers to the realities of the recent European regional development in accordance with the new strategy for regional innovation system development in the European Union, RIS3 (Regional research and innovation strategies for smart specialization). The importance of the local place in the context of economic growth will be illustrated by the showcases of the smart specialization, which which is currently being implemented in Europe.
The book will also present the latest trends in urban development, including the Innovation Districts of the inner cities of United States, and the 4th Generation innovation environments that are emerging in Africa´s energy filled urban centres.
In-between the thematic chapters, the book will contain focused chapters describing the challenges, strategy and projects of cities, innovation districts and science parks which we will present as inspiration and benchmark for others. This will also allow individual featured cities to use the book for foreign direct investment promotion and other branding related activities. If you think your place would make a good example in this book, then do contact us.
In Bearing we see our role as providers of knowledge and practical solutions to our customers both based on our extensive working experience with Governments, Businesses and Academia, and through our methodology development. We aim to share this knowledge through our publications: articles, books and workshops as well as participation in world leading business and scientific conferences. We believe that sharing the progressive ideas is the way to make this world better for all of us. It is with bold ambition and great satisfaction that we have embarked on a new book project.
(1) Hint: Don´t tell we said so, to anyone who is considering to buy it