A New Thought for Economic Development
For those of you who missed it, last week the city of San Antonio and the International Economic Development Council held the 2012 Economic Development Leadership Summit. With over 400 economic development leaders in attendance, the conference was full of best practices, strategies and leadership tools geared to help communities maintain—and in some cases develop—their competitive edge. As a firm that specializes in economic development marketing, strategies and technology, the highlight of the entire conference was not so much the best practices or the networking sessions, but rather a humble man from Santa Fe: Professor Geoffrey West, a physicist who has found data that can predict a city’s future growth within 85% accuracy.
We got a chance to meet Professor West after reading an article in the New York Times titled, "A Physicist Solves a City", about a physicist who was applying science and mathematical equations to evaluate cities and estimate their future growth. The article changed our perceptions on some of the principles that we as economic developers find so true. After a few days to process some of these non-traditional theories we phoned Professor West and invited him to speak on Atlas' behalf at the International Economic Development Council's Annual Leadership Conference in San Antonio, TX. He graciously accepted and delivered the conference's keynote presentation as well as a more intimate presentation for Atlas clients and friends.