Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Global Midwest Initiative

Richard Longworth chimed in at Rust Belt Bloggers. He would like to continue the conversation about globalization in the Midwest. We can do so at Rust Belt Bloggers, but I suspect that blog-to-blog would be a better medium for our discussion. The challenge before us is familiar ground and Mr. Longworth made a remark about the barriers to dealing with globalization while speaking in St. Louis:

In order to catch up to the global era, Longworth says St. Louis and other cities need to provide the infrastructure that will make the industries coveted come to the area, such as top-of-the-line public transportation and education.

As part of his solution to enable Midwestern states to better handle the problems of globalization, Longworth proposes a regional approach where state lines and barriers are broken down. He said states are too small, too parochial and too isolated to handle challenges presented by the global era.

"The Midwest really operates as a bunch of balkanized states," Longworth said. "An expert in Indiana may know everything about his industry in Indiana but doesn't have the foggiest idea of what's going on in Ohio or Michigan."

Longworth recommends building a Midwestern institute focused on global issues and, of course, economic globalization. What is currently missing is some formal mechanism encouraging collaboration between regions (e.g. NEO and SW Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh). After reading "Caught in the Middle", I would endorse the Global Midwest Initiative. However, I would pay attention to what Mike Madison is writing about our various "civic networking" efforts.

Imagine Global Midwest?

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