The innovative power of Open Source

Submitted by Ed Morrison on Sat, 07/02/2005 - 21:27.

It is not the first time that I have ruffled a few feathers.

Open Source Economic Development encourages the formation of open networks of innovation: clusters.

For the past seven years, I have been developing this model of economic development. We have been applying it in Northeast Ohio with some remarkable success.

We are forming new clusters in preventive health care, biodiesel production and distribution, electric commuter vehicles.
In Indiana, Open Source Economic Development is transforming the way regional leaders think about their economies. This approach to economic development helps communities build open innovation systems -- clusters -- around regional strengths.

Making this transition comes with some costs. Open Source Economic Development is disruptive to old patterns of thinking, old patterns of behavior, old patterns of control. It can be very threatening to established leaders. That's OK. Good economic development is inherently disruptive.
Places like Cleveland face a difficult transition away from hierarchies and toward open networks. That requires us to open ourselves to new possibilities and move away from "command and control" industrial mindsets.

Failing to make these transitions is one reason why Cleveland -- and Ohio -- lag in employment and income growth. We cannot "command and control" our way to prosperity. Our challenges in this region have relatively little to do with our underlying economy. They have a lot to do with poor, even thuggish, civic behavior.

So, on to the next frontier: I-Open. I hope you will learn more about I-Open. Volunteer, add your thoughts, become part of the network.
I want to thank the dozens of people who have reached out to me and offered support. To these people and others, I say:
Strap on your goggles. Let's get to work.

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