Press Releases

Memphis selected to join Brookings Inclusive Economic Indicators Lab

Wednesday, 24 June, 2020
Lab will help Greater Memphis Chamber, Innovate Memphis and BLDG Memphis advance locally-relevant metrics of economic inclusion to advance and grow opportunity

MEMPHIS– Memphis is one of just three metros selected to participate in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program (Brookings Metro) for its Inclusive Economic Indicators Lab (the Lab), a one-year project focused on developing tools for tracking and driving inclusive economic outcomes that drive economic competitiveness.

 

The Greater Memphis Chamber, along with partners at Innovate Memphis and BLDG Memphis are working on the project.

 

Brookings Metro selected Memphis for the Lab through a competitive process; the other members of the new cohort include the Indy Chamber of Indianapolis and the Orlando Economic Partnership | Orlando Regional Chamber of Orlando, Fla.


The Lab is supported by the Kresge Foundation through the Shared Prosperity Partnership (SP2), a joint undertaking of Kresge, Brookings Metro, the Urban Institute, the Aspen Institute, and Living Cities. The Lab, like SP2, contends that the strength of American cities—and the nation as a whole—depends on generating inclusive economic growth, prosperity, and opportunity for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and income. 

“At the end of the day, we want to drive outcomes and if we want to drive outcomes, we need to have the right measures in place to do so,” said Beverly Robertson, President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “We want to ensure our market is a place where companies can grow jobs and that people from every corner of the city can access opportunities so that we can truly build a prosperous economy in the Greater Memphis region.”

 

For many years, regions have used “dashboards”—collections of thematically organized data and indicators—to track the condition and progress of their communities, and to inform agendas and investments among local stakeholders. Traditional versions of such indices focus almost exclusively on economic growth and “quality of life” measures such as population, jobs, home prices, safety, and school performance. Brookings Metro has encouraged regions to embrace a more holistic vision of economic success that includes not only the growth of the local economy, but also the degree to which it generates improved average outcomes, and narrows disparities by income, race, and place.

 

“To build prosperity, we have to understand the fundamental metrics that drive economic prosperity,” said Robertson. “This work will help us understand what other cities are measuring and which metrics we should use to make sure that we are moving the needle.”

 

According to Alan Berube, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at Brookings Metro and project lead for the Lab, “What gets measured, gets done. We’re excited to work with Innovate Memphis and other regional leaders who are serious about using metrics to drive more inclusive outcomes in their local economies.”

 

As part of the Lab, the Memphis collaborative will build a new dashboard of inclusive economic indicators, advance a model of shared accountability that can inform the strategies of local organizations, and develop a plan to ensure buy-in and ongoing commitment to the indicators by key stakeholders. BLDG Memphis will conduct the community outreach aspect of the local work. The Greater Memphis Chamber will support the effort as well, with marketing and data analysis expertise. The organizations in the Lab will share best practices as they develop, implement, and communicate their dashboards.

 

Quotes from the Memphis Partnership

 

Greater Memphis Chamber

“At the end of the day, we want to drive outcomes and if we want to drive outcomes, we need to have the right measures in place to do so,” said Beverly Robertson, President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “We want to ensure our market is a place where companies can grow jobs and that people from every corner of the city can access opportunities so that we can truly build a prosperous economy in the Greater Memphis region.”

 

“To build prosperity, we have to understand the fundamental metrics that drive economic prosperity. This work will help us understand what other cities are measuring and which metrics we should use to make sure that we are moving the needle.”

 

Innovate Memphis

“We are thrilled to be included in the Lab with Brookings Metro. We believe that the right data and measurements can have great influence in policy making and program delivery,” said Justin Entzminger, Executive Director of Innovate Memphis. “Our approach with our partners will make sure that Memphians can provide guidance on the metrics that matter to them.”

 

BLDG Memphis

On BLDG Memphis’s role, Deveney Perry shared, “Our participation in this effort gives Memphis a unique opportunity to repurpose a variety of data sets that will be used to support community voices as they lead narrative case-making and measure the success of collective public benefit efforts.”

 

 

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Brookings Metro provides research and solutions that help leaders in cities and metro areas build an economy that works for all. For more information, please visit www.brookings.edu/metro.

 

The Shared Prosperity Partnership (SP2) is dedicated to supporting and accelerating local efforts to grow inclusive economies in U.S. cities. For more information on SP2, please visit www.sharedprosperitypartnership.org  

 

Greater Memphis Chamber – With the support and investment of our members, we work hard every day to grow the Memphis economy, market the region to selected parts of the world, and provide the connections and resources our members need to be successful. Through our goals & objectives, the Chamber staff focuses its efforts on providing economic growth for all—from breaking barriers to business growth today to creating long-term strategies for Memphis’ future—your Chamber works to bring transformational change in Memphis.

 

Innovate Memphis – Innovate Memphis delivers civic solutions by developing new programs, partnerships and platforms to address issues facing Memphis and Memphians. Since beginning in 2012, Innovate Memphis has implemented programs to address some of our most pressing urban challenges: youth gun violence, neighborhood economic vitality, emergency medical services for non-emergency 911 callers, neighborhood condition analytics, public space advocacy, and transportation.

 

BLDG Memphis – Building Memphis is a coalition of organizations and individuals who support the equitable redevelopment of healthy, vibrant, attractive, and economically sustainable neighborhoods throughout Memphis. Formerly called Community Development Council of Greater Memphis, the organization began as and is, at the core, a membership organization specifically designed to support community development corporations (CDCs) as they invest in and drive further investment into disinvested neighborhoods. BLDG Memphis works with CDCs and other members, including individuals, neighborhood associations, public agencies, financial institutions, and nonprofits, to create and advocate for community development policies and investments that are rooted in racial, economic, and social equity. BLDG Memphis conducts programming around policy and advocacy; community education and civic engagement; and capacity building programs for community development organizations and our stakeholders.

 

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