TIP Strategies is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm committed to providing quality solutions for public and private‑sector clients.
This blog is dedicated to exploring new data and trends in economic development.
By: TIP Strategies
For its recent Leadership Summit, IEDC organizers invited “thought leaders and practitioners at the cutting edge of the economic development profession” to share innovative ideas and case studies in five-minute “Ignite” presentations.
Under a title slide forewarning “DISRUPTION,” TIP Principal Jon Roberts took the stage and led audience members on a rapid-fire review of the disruptive forces altering economic development.
Citing disruptive technologies in the fields of consumer electronics, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing and device connectivity, Jon declared three disruptors changing the face of economic development: the future labor pool, evolving supply chains, and changing social norms.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly a million people will enter the labor force annually for the next 10 years. Accustomed to digital music, driverless vehicles, and smart appliances, the next generation of American workers will bring to and require of the labor market a unique set of skills. Traditional expectations of this workforce will have to be set aside in favor of new models.
As disruptive technologies transform how we live and work, they also introduce massive shifts in the supply chain. The historical focus on manufacturing and assembly of durable goods will give way to software development and “intelligent systems,” while producer, broker, and distribution roles in creative fields are already being bypassed and may soon be obsolete.
The resulting shift in social norms, while a threat for those not prepared, creates a wealth of new product and value creation opportunities. In his closing, Jon asserts that we must redefine public-private partnerships to capitalize on the disruptive changes, and divorce ourselves of the notion that the next wave of economic development will be based solely on job creation.