Financial Planning | Leadership / Management | Technology & Social Media

Economy of the future starts in these five states

GlobaltechSure, today's economy stinks. But tomorrow's economy? Man, it's gonna rock.

That's what the 2008 State New Economy Index says, anyway. And the folks in Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, Delaware and New Jersey will rock hardest.

Those five states "are leading the United States’ transformation into a global, entrepreneurial and knowledge- and innovation-based New Economy," reads the report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

The index ranks states based on their ability to compete globally in the creation of "knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism, transformation to a digital economy and technological innovation," with extra points thrown in for high levels of entrepreneurship.

"To succeed in the New Economy, states face a new imperative to boost the competitiveness of their economies -— not just relative to each other, but to other nations,” said Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “If they are going to meet the economic challenges of the future, states will need to overhaul their familiar approaches to economic development.”

It's hard to be optimistic about anything these days. The markets are sliding, companies are cutting costs, unemployment is rising. And frankly, the term "New Economy" is so 1999. You need a healthy dose of irony to use those two words together these days.

Still, I think the authors of the report are onto something. There's an information revolution afoot, and those who embrace it are positioning themselves as tomorrow's leaders. Web 2.0 is only the beginning. Just wait until the social Web and the virtual Web join forces. Talk about a revolution. And borders? Forget about it. They don't exist anymore. If you're not thinking globally, you're lost.

In that light, the report's conclusions about the New Economy make perfect sense.

First, though, we have to survive the old one. And we've got a way to go before we win that battle.


Bill Sheridan