Perspectives, Measurement and Empirical Investigation
Edited by Robert Stimson, Roger R. Stough and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 6: Diversity and Endogeny in Regional Development: Applying Appreciative Intelligence
Tojo Thatchenkery and Jessica Heineman-Pieper INTRODUCTION Endogenous processes in regional economic development have received renewed attention by regional scientists and regional development policymakers, due in part to the increasingly apparent contradictions within increasingly globalizing economic development. Globalization is a largely homogenizing force, and so the diversity required for innovation must come from residual uniqueness of local cultures and contexts (Sachs, 1992; Shiva, 2000; Thatchenkery, 2006). Endogenous vibrancy is both threatened by and a requirement for the engines of globalization, which are thus self-limiting (Sachs, 1992). Both as oases of possibility within a globalizing world and as reservoirs of possibility for a post-globalizing future, endogenous vibrancy is indispensable. Most importantly, it is a fundamental value in its own right. Focusing on human, cultural and organizational dimensions, this chapter examines a case study in how an endogenous ecology spontaneously created cascading entrepreneurial activity (one of infinite possible forms of vibrancy that could be studied, and a popular focus in economic development studies). In particular, the chapter analyzes the endogenous ecology of Silicon Valley in the US, and highlights some of the key cultural, organizational and human factors contributing to the technological innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial impact of the region. Many of these factors can be situated within the framework of ‘appreciative intelligence’ to provide generative and transferable lessons. At the same time, these lessons apply not at the level of content (replicating structures and systems) but rather at the level of ‘being’ or fundamental stance. At this level, the message also challenges...
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