Mysterious Talent Circles
First we'll pile on and point you toward Mr. Feed(on the PG+ site)'s look at some attention being paid to Jim R.'s Burgh Diaspora Blog.
The attention comes from Aaron Renn's Urbanophile blog and his post on The Talent Disconnect (or, Pittsburgh’s Talent Failure). Aaron's Urban street cred will speak for itself, but the Urbanophile blog has a growing following far beyond any one niche. What caught my eye though was that last year it won the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Transit Innovation Competition. Fodder for another day there.
Got all that? Not done.
What is the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. It is the multi-county chamber of commerce for the Chicago region. and just a coincidence, but I had caught this last week already, but the new head of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is herself a diasporan. (yes, I said her) That and didn't we already send them Mike Ditka decades ago? Also fodder in the contrast there.
Which again brings us back to Jim R's Burgh Diaspora blog which is indeed all about tracking the neogeography of talent and thinking differently about what it means for regions, especially but not limited to, ours. Jim's blog has what I don't mean dimimutively a cult following across the nation if not farther as best I can tell. As Aaron alludes and others know it is about rethinking how we understand talent in the economy. In a lot of ways what he is talking about is the opposite of virtually all we actually implement here. It is about making connections to the Pittsburgh diasporan now heading Chicago's meta Chamber of Commerce. It would be the antithesis of things like Project 84 which I myself have poked at in the past. Project 84 being our version of talent policy, whereby we were going to kidnap (my words not theirs) young talent and whisk them to Pittsburgh.. wine and dine them and try and convince them Pittsburgh was a great place. I tell that story and people just don't believe me,
So the image above is something I have without explanation already had running in the template images on the top right. It is indeed from a very real storyboard from the Project 84 concept that luckily was shut down before it was actually implemented. But it was a close scrape. I don't quite get it myself. I guess Mr. nerdy potato-head cubicle worker (the talent?) was going to fly out and relocate to Pittsburgh to save us. I can't get the opening scene from the first Matrix movie out of my head thinking about how the project was going to actually work in practice.
So the ultimate metaphysical question for Pittsburgh..... Is it going to be the blue pill or the red pill?