Regional Empowerment, Place Empowerment, Economic Growth


Are you a regional government, city government, real estate investor or a retailer? And looking for sustainable economic growth? Getting jobs in? Here is something for you: Regional Empowerment, reaching wealth of places, by combining management of places and management of markets. The working method is based on experience in business & market management as well as regional development & geography.

What is a place to be?

In his book on the creative class Richard Florida works out “The Power of Place”. There we added Regional Empowerment and Place Empowerment. A place as a sustainable product  needs market management and authenticity to attract people and business. How do you reach a good public private partnership and a sustainable economy?

What makes Detroit different from New York? Or Sillicon Valley different from Florida? Or The Azores from Sicily? How do we decide where to live, to work, to shop? What makes a place a success? Reading this book you will see that places are the transaction points between people and business. And, places have their own identity. This identity makes a place attractive for the creative class, for the innovative class, for shopping, for living. That’s why a shop saw it’s sales dropping by 45% when they moved to a wrong a location in the same centre. But it could also make the Azores the best place for clean food products and green travel.

Place as a sustainable product

The concept of Regional Empowerment is looking to a place as a (sustainable) product, with a sound economy, which is able to find it’s place in the changing economy.The key word is finding the talents, the DNA of a place. And how to fit this with demands of people and business. This needs experience in place management, market management and public private partnerships. When we help retail organizations we are helping them optimizing a retail network, real estate organizations we help optimizing their shopping center.  Governments we help improving an urban center or a region, including attraction of shops and company’s. It is all about a sustainable, attractive economy of place where people like to be and business can be done.

DNA of place

This has, inspired by people like Richard Florida, led to the concept of Regional & Place Empowerment . It’s target: Bringing the right, sustainable growth to regions (like the Azores) or places (like a city centre),  discovering the DNA  and make a fit with people and business.



In Place Empowerment we consider a region, like the Azores, as a sustainable product. What”s the dream, how do we fit it with business demands and how can you make it come true?

Phase 1: Dream- Find chances, dreams. Put on the yellow hat. What’s the identity, personality, the DNA, which talents do we see, which economic trends,, which possebility’s do we have? Which people, which company’s would we attract?

Phase 2:Decide- Make choises, choose priority’s. The Green Hat. Maybe add research, do pre-prospecting, create a database. Which chances are realistic? What needs do people and company’s have? Towards an authentic brand position, which we can proove. The best opportunities, based on the strenghs of the place and the needs of the market.

Phase 3: Do- The programme. The Blue Hat. Targets. Organize business and account management. Quick wins. Realize preconditions. The brand at work. We start to attrack business, company’s, people, helping to realize a sustainble economy.


An interactive workshop by the Government of the Azores and province of Flevoland, held in Sweden, August 21, in cooperation with prof. José Gabriel Alama de Meneses and Pilar Damiao de Medeiros. It was a part of the AER (Association of European Regions) meeting in Sweden on “Green Growth, Regions towards a resource efficient Europe.

After joining the EU, the Azorian economy underwent big changes. Jobs in fishing, agriculture and textiles were lost. New jobs were not always sustainable and dependent on government support. Now the region is working hard towards a new economy, with experiences on fisheries management, whale watching, renewable energy production. A green growth economy, but green growth also needs a sound economic basis. How to realize new jobs? The unemployment rate in the Azores is 17% (40% for youth) so jobs need to be created. The workshop presented the Azorian experience and introduced Economic Empowerment and Place Empowerment. What’s your (economic) dream, how can you make it come true, how do we get sustainable business in, what are the chances, the best opportunities, what should be done to realize them?

In the workshop, with an international audience from Canada to Istanbul, we made a beginning with Regional Empowerment for the Azores. Actually, a new way of thinking, – the Azores as a sustatinable product which should be matched to market demands- introduced a number of good idea’s that will bring jobs to the Azores. Ask for the Summary of Results:

Take your first step towards economic growth: