Chapter 2: Global Competitiveness and the Role of Higher Education/Community Partnerships
David J. Maurrasse In these complex and volatile times, it is increasingly important that cities and towns consider their global competitiveness. As industries and economies continually shift, and boundaries gradually wither across the globe, the market in which cities and towns are situated is both global and dynamic. How can cities and towns find some semblance of stability within an unstable context? And, how can cities and towns take the greatest advantage of their assets in order to compete internationally? What kinds of markets and industries best suit cities and towns, as they seek comparative advantages against cities and towns around the world? LOCALITIES INTO THE FUTURE Marga Incorporated,1 a New York-based consulting firm, advises on the creation and strengthening of strategic paths to community and economic development. Many of these paths are taking form in multi-stakeholder, cross-sector partnerships. These efforts tap a combination of public and private resources in collaborative efforts to address any number of local concerns. The complex and expensive reality of today leaves municipalities unable to succeed alone. Subsequently, these strategic partnerships are necessary for cities and towns to survive and/or thrive. Silicon Valley, for example, could not have emerged in Northern California without the alignment of government, business, higher education, and civil society. The global competitiveness and impact of that region was aided by the creative harnessing of resources in multiple sectors. Additionally, partnerships of this sort are not only necessary for creating and strengthening industries, they are also essential for improving social infrastructure...
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