Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Saw The Sign

Remember that South Park episode where they find the Ice Man guy who's been frozen since 1996? In order to re-orient him they have to play 1996 music, including the painfully bad Ace of Base hit "The Sign". I think the Ice Man must have worked in Economic Development, because so much of the industry is acting like it's still 1996.

There's still a lot of talk about "tech" jobs, venture capital, and of course, "knowledge workers". Somebody is going to have do something to kill that terrible term along with the equally awful "human capital". Just hearing these things makes me feel like I'm back in 1996 in a product marketing meeting.

In the 2010s, with female-dominated professions like nursing, teaching, and social work continuing to grow, having a vagina will be a greater advantage for many workers than having an advanced education.

One of the things I read many times back in the 90s was how species that survive aren't the strongest, but the most adaptable. Think Alvin Toffler or some other futurist pundit came up with that. Well, if that's true, then it's time to bring economic development into the 2010s, and move it past the world of venture capital, overeducated slackers riding light rail trains in Portland, and panicking that if your city doesn't promote itself as some sort of "tech" hub, it will be falling behind. Computers have made many companies exceptionally productive, and automated and outsourced so many employment opportunities. As a result, many tech sectors, including specialties within greentech and biotech, hold as much promise for future job creation as pets.com.

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