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Innovative Rural Development

Graham Larcombe

The Global Context for Regional and Rural Development

  • Globalisation
  • Emerging technologies
  • Emerging and declining
  • Asian meltdown and domestic downturn
  • Changing corporate structures eg rationalisation, outsourcing.
  • Shifting infrastructure demand eg digital economy
  • Declining commodity prices
  • Smaller government but more regional focus

Why Local Communities Have Become Key Players in Economic Development

  • "Grass roots" initiatives are more successful
  • Increased unemployment and inequality
  • Pressure from global competition
  • Emergence of business and community networks
  • "Do more with less"

Why Should We Make Community Economic Development a Top Priority

  • Higher incomes and output
  • Better quality of life and vibrant culture
  • Good jobs and less unemployment
  • A future for young people
  • High quality infrastructure and services
  • Enhancing social and natural environment

Key Agendas for Revitalising Rural Communities

  • Central role for local government
  • New business and product development
  • Town revitalisation
  • Innovative economic strategy design and implementation
  • Building local capacity
  • Innovative skills formation
  • Linking to the digital revolution

The Principles of Community Economic Development

  • Self-initiative
  • Local leadership
  • Partnerships
  • Inclusive and globally oriented
  • Practical and focused on outcomes
  • Doing more with less
  • Building local capacity and learning processes

Regional Revitalisation: The Keys to Success

  • Coherent vision, consensus and implementation plan
  • Adaptability and infrastructure
  • Commitment from government and industry
  • Economic empowerment of communities
  • Technological and organisational innovation
  • Focus skills formation and learning processes
  • Independent design and production capability
  • Innovative financing
  • Strengthening social capital

Global Lessons for Rural Communities

  • Working together: Appalachian Centre for Economic Networks, Ohio
  • Helping Rural School Children: Mississippi
  • Business and Young People: North Portugal
  • Jobs and Information and Communications Technologies: Western Scotland
  • Regions and State Economic Development: Oregon

Figure 1: The determinants of regional economic development

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