To deepen understanding of the regional assets as part of the qualitative research in Level 3, interviews should be conducted with a wide variety of community leaders including: government officials, university leaders, venture capitalists and other financiers, business service providers and advisors, business associations, economic developers, and non-profit community groups. Approximately 25-30 interviews will usually be sufficient; however, more may be needed for larger regions or more comprehensive efforts.
The interviews with stakeholders in the region serve at least three key functions:
To ensure identification of the major organizations that serve as regional assets
To identify key alliances and networks that support and promote regional innovation, and to learn how they work
To properly value the regional assets identified
Even though community leadership interviews are likely to be most useful in Level 3, a region may decide to engage in a small number of these as part of Level 2 analysis to obtain certain data that may not otherwise be available from other sources. View a Sample Community Leadership Interview Template.
In addition, a region may want to consider engaging in a specific network mapping exercise that allows for graphic representations of existing connections between assets. This can suggest areas in which stronger connections need to be made. Complex human system analysis, making use of software developed for purposes other than economic or workforce development, can be used effectively. Resources can be found, for a fee, at websites like Networkweaving and Orgnet.
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