Vancouver Economic Development Strategy

Vancouver’s asset and resource is its quality of life, not its environment, which is only part of it. Many people who come to live in Vancouver come because they have an interest in preserving and enhancing the quality of their lives which naturally extends, given the opportunity, to participate in preserving and enhancing our quality of life as a community. This is our common interest, our resource, and our value proposition to attract new enterprise and economic activity and stimulate economic growth for Vancouver. It also helps define our agenda, our target audiences and our leveraged strategies for our marketing and economic development initiatives.

We are in a time and a world where ideas are our greatest resource. We have ideas. Our interest is in attracting more ideas. Ideas reside in people. Ideas become enterprises. The business of many enterprises is all about ideas. Our consulting engineering community of enterprises, for example. First class internationally.

Our arts and culture community of enterprises. We haven’t done a great job yet of showcasing, presenting and marketing it, but this is not only a great industry to attract more enterprise and more ideas in this area. For example, we workshop the creation of a lot of productions here, we could become known as and market Vancouver as a place to workshop ideas, not only in the arts world but in our other areas of interest. It also enhances the quality of life in this City and this is our greatest appeal for attracting the kind of people and kinds of enterprises and activities that we can and want to attract.

Our new media community and industry. No slouch. Our knowledge and learning community and industry; educational institutions, The Commonwealth of Learning types of organizations based here and a huge array of other enterprises her in this area. We even host the World Educational Market. Who knows?

Our community interest industry; lots of organizations focused on common community interest issues, many innovative, embryonic, started here and are starting here. And so on. We have a great story, the right appeal. And smart people with ideas understand the benefits of being in good company as well as wanting to continue to shape a future and a community that works well, for them, and for others.

It is the Richmond Auto Mall idea of attracting, in a targeted and personalized way, selected new enterprises to help us all in the category to be more successful, as they say in marketing. If we go after the idea enterprises, all of which need servicing which creates additional economic activity, most of which can relocate easily and require little new infrastructure investment, contribute leveraged and additional value add benefits when they are here, make limited demands on our quality of life when they are here, are leveraged and highly influential in attracting more and better of the same kinds of enterprises, and require and attract more of the profile and kind of people who are more likely to positively contribute to our community and our future. This may be a bit of a selfish and self- interested strategy. We could just bring a casino here.

The resources and interests of these communities of enterprise that are here now can be marshalled, showcased and mobilized to do the job in their own community interest and in our collective community interest, more easily, reasonably and successfully with guidance, assistance and support. They have an understanding of the DNA of the community they are part of and have the relationships within the community to connect and carry the discussion.

Putting this strategy together and making this happen is not difficult. We simply need to mobilize ideas that make sense, that work in our interest and are doable to build capacity around what we have. How many bright people do we need to articulate the one pager? I’ll take on the job of facilitating the articulation of a provocative strategy that could work or at least provoke discussion and generate more interest and activity around this topic ideas at a Downtown Vancouver Association sponsored or co sponsored public forum event. Are there a few people interested in working on it? Who should we put in a room? How about a few people from organizations that are already engaged directly or indirectly on this interest?

2003.03.26

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