Developing communities of innovation: a more inclusive approach

I really enjoyed this interview with Robyn Cook for the ‘Stories from the Red Couch’ series. This is an excellent grass roots initiative from Robyn and family to meet and interview a wide range of people from the Sunshine Coast and beyond to discuss their personal stories, experiences and ideas on how to develop communities.

This interview focuses on how towns, cities and regions can survive and thrive by developing communities of innovation. I argue that the 'Silicon Valley' model is not best for most communities and instead we need to take a more inclusive approach to identify and play to the strengths of regions, focus on a wider range of people, and businesses.

Tech startups are an important part of the mix but they are not the only part of the mix. We also need to support the startup and growth of tech enabled businesses and work to identify and support small and mid size businesses with the ambition and potential to scale up.

I argue that there is a massive need to invest in a more structured approach to human capital development, not just a series of random events. This approach needs to start with a skills needs analysis followed up with a recommendations for a structured skills development pathway. A skills development matrix can be developed to sketch out pathways in key areas - such as Owner Manager Programs, export development, innovation, marketing, enabling business growth through technology etc - and local community members can be involved in skills development.

You can watch the video here:

Colin Graham