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How to Develop a Collaborative Economic Development Ecosystem

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

What is a collaborative economic development ecosystem?

Economic outcomes greatly improve by developing a collaborative ecosystem. To accomplish desired results for the collective, economic developers must:

  1. Identify organizations that provide direct and/or foundational support for economic development.

  2. Identify opportunities or constraints that need to be addressed to increase economic development growth.

  3. Invite a coalition of the willing to a project or an initiative that realizes opportunities or removes constraint

Collaborative Economic Development Ecosystem Consulting Process

Coordinate, Communicate, and Share

Developing a collaborative economic development ecosystem that enables the entire community of stakeholders to grow and prosper requires coordination, communication, and transparency.


Gather stakeholders and create a name and logo for your economic development ecosystem. These identifiers should be unique for this network and not belong to an existing business. Further, this group of stakeholders should come together as an “open platform” network, avoiding the trappings of a more structured organization.


Utilize a virtual communication software (e.g. Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.) to enable regular interaction between stakeholders. Manage the platform from a distance, ensuring all members benefit from the network.


Data, breaking news, reports, and other information should be shared as it develops to maintain stakeholder interest. Keep all parties up to date with blogs, newsletter, and email campaigns. Determine an annual meeting date and avoid monthly meetings. Come together when there is action to take.  


A collaborative economic development ecosystem accomplishes the following organizational objectives:

  1. Overcoming resource scarcity

  2. Coping with complexity

  3. Expanding your stakeholder base

  4. Increasing your marketing reach

  5. Building trust

  6. Networking

Following an economic development ecosystem consulting process will strengthen your direct economic development activities and support your competitive foundations. Direct activities include marketing, recruiting, business retention and expansion. Competitive foundations benefit from reinforced talent, innovation, entrepreneurship, placemaking, and infrastructure.

Have a question? Contact us to start the conversation.

Check back soon for the next post in this series:

Economic Development Ecosystem Stakeholders: Who are they and how do I engage them?


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