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Distinguished Speaker Series: Rod Stevens

Topic: Make it local. How we can use place-making and the passions and interests of the people already living here to create a living economy for the 21st century?

Currently, start-ups are dominated by tech, for the most part coders writing apps for Smart Phones and Tablets. Business plans for such apps aim primarily at drawing people navigating the internet to click ads, the main revenue source. 

But there are alternative venues for start-ups. According to Nicco Mele's The End of Big, venues can be found by mining local resources and former industries. Former industries may lay fallow, but they still hold spacious and sturdy quarters, expensive equipment and access to skills,f or which business plans can shift their aim from clicking ads toward making things. Making things locally and cost effectively.

By leveraging cheap space, regenerated assets and recaptured skills, start-ups require almost no capital investment. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding allow start-ups to combine diffuse but valuable assets and stranded skills to solve local problems, locally, through distributed making. Come hear more about this stimulating and timely topic. Hope to see you next week.

About Rod Stevens
Rod Stevens is an expert in business intelligence and strategy, specializing in planning for place-based ventures. He will contrast top-down, large-scale, flavor-of-the-month approaches to urban revitalization with bottom-up, entrepreneurial businesses that are rebuilding the economies of their communities through the passions and distinctive skills of local residents. He will profile a handful of companies that have combined craft and modern, computer-driven technology to become "economic gazelles" in their communities, blurring the lines between white-collar, blue-collar and technical jobs. He'll also cite several places around the U.S., including Berkeley, Culver City, Portland, Port Townsend and Asheville that have successfully grown economic clusters built both on long-standing industries and the modern renaissance of craft. And finally, he'll bring it on home to New Haven's own prospects, both downtown and in the Fair Haven district, building on the recent "Mill River" report and what individuals can do to participate in these business changes.
With 25 years experience, Rod is the Principal at Spinnaker Strategies, a Real Estate and Finance consulting firm in Bainbridge Island, WA. Rod graduated from Stanford University (BA in History) and from Dartmouth's Amos Tuck School of Business (M.B.A., General Management), where he was recognized as a Tuck Scholar for academic achievement.


Read related writings by Rod Stevens Here and Here.

Later Event: January 30
The Human Scale