Some 30 national economic development, civic, venture capital and private equity leaders recently participated in a 3-day retreat hosted by Climate Prosperity, Inc. and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and the Alliance for Regional Stewardship. The focus of the retreat was the soon-to-be launched Clean Economy Solutions Exchange, a national initiative to assist regional economic development leaders and national corporations to fulfill the full potentials of the clean energy economy for both regions and private enterprises.
Regional economic development leaders from Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, San Francisco, San Jose, South Carolina, and St. Louis joined venture capitalists, private equity and national site selection leaders in discussing and refining the proposed initiative, which is funded and supported by national foundations and private sector civic underwriting . 8 to 12 regions will be selected this summer to participate in this multi-year economic development initiative, which will match emerging clean economy enterprises with the economic development efforts of “investment ready” regions.
For more information, go to www.climateprosperityproject.org, or contact richardcdfleming @gmail.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just returned to STL from a week in Brazil with a number of economic development colleagues from the US to Rio and San Paulo in Brazil. What an remarkable country! San Paulo reminds me of Shanghai the first time I visited there several years ago. major financial center, growth everywhere.
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Brazil represents a unique opportunity for trade and foreign direct investment for regions in the United States that are astute enough to establish economic development relationships with their Brazilian counterparts now. As a major international financial services center, San Paulo represents an obvious opportunity for St. Louis’ robust and growing Financial & Information Services Industry Cluster. Danny Ludeman (Wells Fargo Advisors) and Jim Weddle (Edward Jones) have recently announced an ambitious Financial Services Leadership Council to advance this sector in St. Louis.
Had a terrific trip to Croatia in March this year, sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and managed by ABC Destinations. Our delegation visited Split, Dubrovnik, Montenegro, and the Isle of Hvar. Each of these destinations has a very rich history (both ancient and recent), unique architecture, fabulous food, and wonderful people.
ABC Destinations provides these packaged tours thru chambers of commerce for chamber members. It is a great way for chamber members and local communities to get to know each other while discovering another country. In 2010, RCGA took 175 of our members to China for 10 days. It was a fantastic trip.
Photos from my recent trip to Croatia. (view photos)
This coming week, ACCE and ABC Destinations are leading a group of 20 chamber and economic development leaders from communities throughout the US to Brazil for a week.
It’s been suggested that successful economic development is a marathon, not a sprint. So the spate of very positive postings in the media on the St. Louis region’s emerging economic development successes are not the result of a single sprint, but rather a well planned marathon.
For example, the recent Kiplinger Top Ten ranking, the Dave Nicklaus columns in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch titled “All of a sudden, St. Louis is a lot more nurturing place for entrepreneurs” (1/27/12), “St. Louis draws entrepreneurs from across the country” (11/25/12), “On the cutting edge for growth, St. Louis beginning to make its mark: study says our biopharma is 6th biggest n the nation” (2/19/12), and Lisa Brown’s recent Sunday feature article, “Financial industry leaders join to spur local growth” (2/19/12) — each are reflections of progress and results from well over a decade of hard work by many in the bistate St. Louis region.
- the Kiplinger Top Ten ranking is the result of actions by an emerging set of engaged players both in our universities, along with entrepreneurial/business and civic communities — dating back to the early efforts of area incubators such as the Center for Emerging Technologies and NIDUS Center for Scientific Enterprise, the Technology Gateway Alliance (later Innovate St. Louis), the candid half year analysis and assessment of the region’s economic development & entrepreneurial pluses and minuses by the Council on Competitiveness co-sponsored by Wash U and RCGA in 2004, and the decade-long civic efforts of Dr. Bill Danforth and the Coalition for Plant & Life Sciences (now BioSTL), and more recently, the ArchAngels, ITEN, Arch Grants, VECTIS, and T-REX.
- the pioneering work led by then-RCGA Chairman and Edward Jones managing Partner John Bachmann in the late 90s in focussing the region and the business leadership on a set of long term strategic initiatives, which included “Revitalizing the Region’s Central City” and “Developing the Region’s Distinctive Industry Clusters.” In determining and pursuing the latter, collaborating with Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard and Dr. Walt Plosilla of the Battelle Memorial Institute, a decade-long pursuit of the region’s most promising industry clusters was undertaken; namely, Plant & Life Sciences, IT, Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Transportation/Distribution. The 2012 ranking by the National Cluster Mapping Project ranked the St. louis BioBelt region as #6 in the nation for biopharma — ahead of Boston, Cleveland, and San Diego. The decade=-long focus on these 5 distinctive industry clusters led the RCGA to update and calibrate going forward in the recently-completed MarketStreet Study led by Wells Fargo Advisors CEO and RCGA Chairman-elect Danny Ludeman. [More on this work in a future blog]
- the announcement last week of the first of several new CEO-led Leadership Councils by RCGA reflects a refinement to the region’s industry cluster strategy. The above mentioned P-D article by Lisa Brown announced that Danny Ludeman and his Edward Jones-CEO counterpart, Jim Weddle, will co-chair the first of several industry cluster Leadership Councils — this one on financial services — at the heart of RCGA’s 2011-2015 Regional Economic Development Strategy. A 2007 national study noted that more financial brokers call St. Louis their HQs than anywhere in the United States other than Wall Street.
Dick Fleming and Andre Pettigrew present at St. Louis Greenprint Working Group Session, Thursday, December 8, 2011.
As Dick Fleming prepares to leave the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, and his successor Joe Reagan gets ready to move to town from Louisville, they both took time to join us today on St. Louis on the Air. click for more
These 69 participants compiled a scorecard of requirements to form “green” teams, reduce waste, conserve water and energy, improve indoor air quality, and provide clean transportation options. 75% of these teams completed a written set of sustainability guidelines and nearly two-thirds adopted a green purchasing policy during the Challenge term. In addition, 35 companies pledged to reduce their energy consumption by 25%. In the two years of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, 85 companies have participated, impacting more than 100,000 employees across the region.
RCGA member companies aggressively took up the Challenge and proved that these business strategies can provide “green savings,” by helping grow their bottom lines through sustainable practices. This effort is one of our key initiatives to advance a green economy for our region.
RCGA engaged the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center to serve as Resource Advisor to Challenge participants. The EarthWays staff organized informative seminars and performed site visits to help company Green Teams implement measures defined by the Challenge scorecard.