Purdue's Center for Regional Development Appoints Ed Morrison to Position as Economic Policy Advisor

Submitted by Betsey Merkel on Mon, 04/24/2006 - 01:46.

Press Release: Cleveland.-- April 24, 2006 -- The Center for Regional Development at Purdue University has appointed Ed Morrison to the position of Economic Policy Advisor. In the role, Morrison will assist the Center and the governor's office in the implementation of new regional models of economic development and workforce development.

"I am excited to be affiliated with Purdue's Center,” said Morrison. “Since its founding a little over a year ago, the Center for Regional Development has catapulted to a leadership role in regional economic development and innovation."

Morrison will be helping the Center design and implement a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant. The Center learned in February that it was one of 13 recipients nationally. The grant provides $5 million a year for three years for the the Center to design and implement a series of regional initiatives in North Central Indiana.

"The WIRED grant provides an exceptional opportunity to develop integrated initiatives that cross existing organizational and political boundaries. We will also be sharing what we learn among other WIRED regions across the country," said Morrison.

Morrison will be coordinating the work of the Center with the office of Governor Mitch Daniels. The Governor will soon be releasing a statewide strategy that emphasizes the same type of regional strategies promoted by the WIRED grant.

In addition to his work with the Center, Morrison directs Leadership Indiana, an initiative of the Indiana Humanities Council. In this role he is guiding twelve regional forums across the state and building regional networks to implement a new model of economic development, Open Source Economic Development. This model of economic development emphasizes the importance of developing open networks to accelerate innovation.

Morrison is also one of the founders of the Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open), based in Cleveland. I-Open is developing new models and tools to accelerate regional innovation using Open Source Economic Development. I-Open is working with the Cuyahoga County Department of Development to implement this approach to strategy in Cuyahoga County. Morrison formerly headed the Center for Regional Economic Issues at Case. Contact: Betsey Merkel 4415 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106 T 216-650-7267 betseymerkel [at] i-open [dot] org

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I am really excited to learn of Ed's success in Indiana, and look forward to seeing NEO continue from his lessons learned, even if serving other communities. I consider Ed a conceptual founder of REALNEO and embrace his vision of "open source economic development", just as I embrace Free Open Source Software - I look forward to continuing exploration of economic development with Ed, near and far.


Since I worked with Ed for a few years I am excited to hear that he is moving on. Ed has a great vision and showed a great performance.
The problem in Cleveland is the top leaership,... because the boards have old thinking therfore they hire people who are not questioning them.
The only way to move things is to move on,... leave Cleveland as I did. You will be surprised how great things are if you work with a different environment.

Some times a reagion has to face the edge before changes happen.


Hi Jurgen - I agree about moving on in life

It is great to hear from you and see you post on REALNEO - I personally appreciate that, Jurgen. So glad to hear you are happy down there - I was just missing your presence at the student show this year (the loss was evident), and wondering how to reach you so I can visit your school - I want to see some great art institutes in action. I say that because I know there are problems in NEO that can be corrected.

I think CIA can be made into a greater regional asset, but my proposal is to move CIA out of University Circle completely, and develop those lots to higher and better uses for that neighborhod. I'd keep CIA divided and locate an "Arts" campus on the UC side of East Cleveland, as part of a major arts and education village redevelopment in East Cleveland from University Circel to Superior... extending UCI's development role east. That campus will be on the RTA Red line and Silver Bus Line, both serving UC and downtown.

In the University Circle East Cleveland neighborhood will be built 100s of units of housing for CIA and other students choosing that lifestyle option, which must be integrated with existing, sustainable properties and other future development, but the size of the development zone is large, well located and very dynamic.

As an enhancement to the community and business model of arts and CIA, I'm also proposing that special arts and craft architectural elements, like decorative tile and glass block, can be designed by CIA faculty and students (they already do this) and fabricated further east, in East Cleveland, spurring redevelopment of their industrial facilities and creating craftperson jobs (which can lead to higher arts education at CIA), and providing "signature" design and construction materials that give the communty a unique look. Thisw could be profitable for all involved, and open up larger marketplaces in the region and world-wide (think Newcomb pottery).

I put "TIME" and other digital arts downtown on the edge of the Flats, also on the RTA rail lines, over by Jacobs Field and the Central Viaduct (around the Gillota Property), which would share a campus with the Kent Graduate School of Architecture and Landscape Design (which the new Dean, Steven Fong, from Toronto, announced he is moving to Cleveland) allong with an expanded Kent State University Urban Design Center (around 100,000 square feet combined). Other university programs that fit this collaboration would be welcome - including incubators and related offices development, and housing development in this untouched industrial valley, the University Central zone will see $100 millions in development. Again, UCI can play a Communty Development Corporation role so this is really just an extension of the University Community, enhancing the whole.

To this downtown environment, I also propose moving the Crawford Museum, and integrating that in many ways with the Industrial Design presence at the new, co-located CIA Central. Coincidentally, this site is adjacent to the site of the Western Reserve Fire Department Museum, on the Central Viaduct, and that is an ideal site for a larger focus on the history and future of transportation - some other exciting dynamics make for a powerful big picture of global interest, especially when combining education, research and development, and tourism.

Once leaders around here hear this vision (which I'm describing more fully here) , they all love it. I've talked to people at the county, and developers and many other doers who have the ability to invest and implement, so all this is realistic.

There are many less enlightened forces pushing for the same short visions that you faced when leading here, and I fully appreciate your disgust. I've left NEO several time with similar feelings. But still I hope at this time transformation catches on with more people, and more insightful new leaders surface (and move here), and I hope you'll remain a friend of the community and share insight wherever you stay. You are missed here!