Friday, January 11, 2008

Rust Belt Network: Critical Mass

If you haven't noticed, we've settled on a time and place for the inaugural Rust Belt Bloggers Summit. On July 11th-12th, we'll convene in Erie. I don't have any more details at this point, but we welcome YOUR input. I recommend PodCast Pittsburgh as a model for how we structure this networking event.

With that bit of business out of the way, let me offer one reason as to why I'm buzzing this Friday. I read at Fix Buffalo Today about a recent Smart City Radio show. All you Rust Belt bloggers should listen to the story about the Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE). A bit about GLUE:

Much has been said about the future of the Great Lakes region by academics and traditional stakeholders in public policy. Yet rarely have 18-40 year olds, the target of scores of ‘brain drain’ research and attraction and retention efforts, been asked as a demographic what they envision, or how their day-to-day experiences in “declining” post-industrial cities inform that vision.

GLUE, founded by two newly returned, twenty-something Great Lakes residents, is a multi-media documentary, networking, and creative research effort to do just that. The project’s online home,, will serve as an organically developed answer to the question: what’s right and what’s wrong about my post-industrial city? ...

... GLUE project leaders have spent the last two months planning, conducting research, and a building a team of emerging leaders in target cities (Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Detroit, Duluth, Erie, Flint, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Lansing, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Rochester, St. Louis, Toledo). This team will continue to grow over the coming year. In January, the GLUE team will begin on-the-ground work, producing multimedia journalistic reports and maximizing the power of a regional network that complements and reflects the revitalization work already underway in cities in the Great Lakes economic region.

I have previously commented that we Rust Belt Bloggers should plug into what Brookings is doing. GLUE is a few steps ahead of this value proposition. Never one to duplicate efforts, I intend to support the GLUE project. I'm interested in forming a Great Lakes regional identity and collaborating with other Shrinking City citizens.

For my Pittsburgh-centric readers, GLUE co-founder Abby Wilson is from the Burgh and recently made the boomerang track back to her city. The Gumband Migration continues.

1 comment:

Abby Wilson said...

greetings to any of you disapora readers - this is Abby from GLUE - I definitely want to be in touch with you, and for us all to be in touch with each other!

please email me any time @

to learn more about GLUE