Futurists and local economic development

A group of senior South African decision makers on a tour to Germany to see how German local governments planned for change

Futurists use a forward-looking philosophy to chart their organisations’ strategies. They are not so caught in the here and now. Rather they imagine and then mobilise people towards a future that does not yet exist. It means you can not yet plan for it, you first have to imagine it. Futurists are not caught up like… Continue reading Futurists and local economic development

For bottom up development to work, you must go up

For about 6 years I was intensely involved in establishing, promoting and cheer leading Local Economic Development in South Africa and elsewhere. In a country where so much planning, allocation and overall coordination came from the top, these were exciting years. I was always amazed and delighted to find hard working champions in the public… Continue reading For bottom up development to work, you must go up

Book announcement: Reducing Red Tape

This book is a collaboration between Mattia Wegmann and myself, and is based on our practical experiences gained in assisting local stakeholders to identify and address Red Tape. It consolidates our work on Reducing Red Tape in the context of Local Economic Development. The book is available as a printable e-book for free, or you… Continue reading Book announcement: Reducing Red Tape

Starting the innovation system series

The next few posts will be focused on my work in the last 18 months. I have dedicated a large part of my work into diagnosing and improving innovation systems in South Africa. My perspective is quite unique, as I did not conduct these studies to develop national policy, but rather to assist intermediary organizations… Continue reading Starting the innovation system series

More on bottom up development

I was reminded by a reader that Robert Chambers of the IDS is known to be a strong proponent of bottom up development, because it overcomes some of the issues of the complexity of development. At the same time I found a recent blog post by Ben Ramalingam at the Aid on the edge of… Continue reading More on bottom up development

The irony of bottom-up development

From the participants of our trainings on local and regional economic development it seems evident that many national governments are paying lip service to bottom-up development. Often Local Economic Development (LED) is related to attempts to decentralise certain decision-making to lower tiers of governments. However, this is done in an uneven way where powers to… Continue reading The irony of bottom-up development

Developing territories from the bottom up

Its been a while since I have made a post, largely because watching the discussions in our local press is so amusing and entertaining. I had to keep my fingers in fists not to type anything I would regret later. This is a poor excuse, so let me get back to the reason why you… Continue reading Developing territories from the bottom up

On the ground in Soweto

Early in May  I had the privilage of working with the international NGO Worldvision on a Local Economic Development in Soweto. The objective of the assignment was to assist Worldvision to focus its support activities in Orlando East. Zini Godden assisted me as the co-facilitator, and the method we applied was the PACA (Participatory Appraisal… Continue reading On the ground in Soweto

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