A recurring theme in the profession of economic development is that the Internet has changed our work and continues to reshape it. Now, direct access to online information, answers, and advice from your economic development peers around the world is immediate and pervasive. This reality is even truer today, as the Economic Development Leadership group on Linkedin has surpassed 20,000 members.
To put that number of members in perspective, the Economic Development Leadership group on Linkedin:
1.) Has a population larger than most cities
2.) Is more than six times the size of the paid members of IEDC, a large economic development association, and
3.) Is more than 10 times larger than any economic development professionals’ conference in the world.
Economic Development Leadership is one of the largest economic development membership groups in the world and yet it was started only a few years ago as a way for a small group of economic developers to keep in touch, share ideas, and help each other. Now it is helping economic developers become more successful all around the world with a membership including thought leaders in the profession.
Do you remember just years ago when you had to travel and pay to go to a conference to learn and meet with other economic developers? Or when you had to know specifically which economic development expert could help answer a question to a problem you were having? But now, through Economic Development Leadership, you can get immediate information, answers, and advice by crowdsourcing a global network of economic development professionals.
Of course there are innovative Internet tools that have emerged and transformed the effectiveness of economic development professionals related to site selection analysis, foreign direct investment, and small business assistance. Each of these is powerful and important. As a supplement to these innovations, economic developers are also helping their fellow economic developers through social networks and online membership groups that have enhanced our ability to be knowledgeable faster through online relationships with experts and peers.
It is encouraging to know that each day the value and power of Economic Development Leadership becomes stronger as its membership grows with the addition of new individuals that are committed to being available online in real time to help economic developers like you. There is no waiting and no cost for help. It’s simply the altruistic and collegial support of people that care about economic development like you do, supporting people like you.