Courtesy Citybizlist – I had the chance last week to present the state of our region’s innovation community at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Economic Outlook Forum. This year, the GBC forum focused entirely on understanding the role of the innovation economy both nationally and in our region. I tried to put some context around who we’re talking about when we speak of our (or anyone else’s) “innovation community”.
This column, which is the first part of my presentation, puts our “innovation community” into some context. I spoke of four aspects that, while not exclusive, do define key aspects of the innovation community.
Age Matters. As I said to those in attendance, I also suspect those reading this column aren’t the innovation community we’re talking, including me. The innovation community in Baltimore is similar demographically to that in many leading regions. It’s young, diverse, well educated. It’s interested in many activities; it melds life, work and play, and is transient. In a conversation I had a while ago in this column with Karyl Leggio, Dean of the Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business, she went past the criticism of some that they are the “affirmed generation”. As Karyl explains, they are the most connected generation we have experienced. That connectedness permeates everything: from how they learn, to their orientation to working on teams, to problem solving and socializing. Those regions that support environments that foster such interaction, such connectedness, will win the war for talent. For us in Baltimore, the momentum building in Station North and Remington should be celebrated. You don’t have to go to the Wind Up Space to appreciate how important such venues are for the vibrancy of our innovation community.
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