Economic developers are the ultimate generalists. They keep up with global trends and local land use. They dabble in policy analysis, take media calls on civic priorities, and evaluate costs and benefits for their community. Of course, all this leaves little time for formal professional development, reading industry journals and keeping up with the local, national and international news.
Fortunately, communications and publishing technologies have converged in the ‘podcast’, which was named the ‘word of the year’ back in 2005. Since that time, podcasts have exploded in growth, both in subscribers and the variety and number of podcasts being produced. According to the PEW Research Center, the annual podcast downloads from one of the largest podcast hosts was 3.3 BILLION in 2015, up from 2.6 billion in 2014. This growth got the attention of Neilson, who will begin measuring downloading trends and listenership later this year for their rating service.
So, with this growing media platform, economic developers can download specialized content to playback on a mobile device or computer ‘on demand’. Support for subscribing to podcasts has been included in iPhone operating systems since 2005, and Android users can choose a podcasting app – many are free to download. (a quick explainer on podcasting apps can be found here). Podcasts might play in the background of your office as you answer emails and file expense reports, or might play in your headphones as you take a quick walk around the block or to a meeting, and can play in the car as you scout new developable land. Creative EDC staff listen to podcasts during our long hours in the car. Podcasts can keep you up-to-date on economic trends, policy discussions and the latest practices in economic development.
We have compiled a list of some of our favorite podcasts and their publishers, but you should check out your local and state-wide newspaper or your favorite magazine, as they have likely launched one or more podcasts to redistribute their material and cross-promote stories. And, let us hear from you! What are your favorite podcasts for economic developers?
Selected Podcasts of Interest to Economic Developers
Economics & Business
- Economy Matters, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- EconTalk, Library of Economics & Liberty
- Ideacast, Harvard Business Review
- Marketplace, American Public Media
- Our Global Economy, PRI
- TedTalks – Business, TED
Economic Development Policy
- Intersections, Brookings Institute
- Local Gov Life, ICMA
- NaCo Podcasts, NaCo
- Policy 360, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Economic Development Practices
- From the Ground Up, Consultant Connect
- Municipal Equation, National League of Cities
- Placemakers, Slate Magazine
- The Project: Inside Corporate Location Decisions, Development Counselors International