The Strategic Development Organization: Visionary Leadership for State Economic Development

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This report seeks to examine state economic development policy processes in terms of effectiveness.

Report focuses on strategic development organizations (SDOs) because of their ability to influence the civic infrastructure and culture of their states. Report describes the promise of strategic development organizing in states, profiles five strategic development organizations, distills common functions of the five organizations, using examples from each; and identifies common challenges facing the strategic development organizations, offering a “flip-side” view of their common functions and sources of strength.

Authors believe SDO success lies in ability to re-invent the processes by which states think about and attempt to stimulate economic development. However, report finds SDOs can only exist as a vehicle for politicians, interest groups, experts, and citizens. Thus, the report recommends expanding network of new SDOs in states, increasing support and effectiveness, and revitalizing mission statement of SDOs to be more inclusive, holistic, and in tune with changing needs.

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