We sometimes get pretty blank stares when we mention the value of design to economic development. Even among those that support tech-based economic development design is not seen as a core or even enabling technology. We contend that design is important to a community in more than the quality of life manner that it is usually considered but also as a source for job growth. There is a nice post on the design website Core77 that looks at this issue.
The article mentions Thrive a design-based incubator in Helena, Arkansas (pop. 6,323).
Thrive has been able to take the world view of the design community—the community of people, the recognition of different skills people have—and show people what is outside of their view. Thrive takes the concepts of a good designer: research, need finding, ideating, etc. and applies it to small business owners. Their design firm produces businesses, jobs, communities.”
The article also posits that the ungainly supply-chain of outsourced development that Boeing used on the 787 Dreamliner is to blame for the delays and overruns on the project. I’m not sure if we could imagine the outsourcing genie ever going back in the bottle the efficiencies of specialization is just far to great. But for such networks to succeed more members of the network have to have the end goal in mind.
Technology based economic development must recognize the new complex value-webs and supply-chains that exist behind every product and in front of every new technology.
We see an entity like KOIN could be valuable in helping smaller Kansas businesses perform in those networks by connecting together, connecting with international opportunities and being the best prepared and customer-focused business a company could choose to work with.
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