Coming April 22: The Practical Guide to the Green Economy

by | Apr 17, 2024

Six years ago, the Fund for Our Economic Future set forth regional priorities via our publication, The Two Tomorrows. The priorities center on a simple, data-informed idea: an economy that excludes some will fail all. The Two Tomorrows calls for work towards a better tomorrow, defined as one with a continuously regenerating economy with good jobs and rising incomes for all, regardless of race or place.  

Since then, the region and the world have changed significantly. And there is still work ahead to realize a better tomorrow.  

Patterns merely nascent in 2018 broke through floodgates in 2020. The surge in remote work & retirement and the expansion of gig work caused traditional offices to evolve into more flexible spaces. Digital revolutions in automation and artificial intelligence have reshaped the economy, work dynamics, and job functions. Labor force participation rates increased. Racial income inequities also increased. Clean energy gained traction and reshaped industries. Housing shortages intensified. Markets experienced volatility and inflation, with new sectors emerging and older ones waning.  

Thus far, the response at a national level has injected tremendous levels of funding into the American economy. That investment, paired with a noteworthy changeover in regional leadership, offers a unique chance for Northeast Ohio to define itself instead of being defined. There is an opportunity to ride the built momentum of now instead of surrendering to habitual momentum of the past.  

This opportunity to redefine Northeast Ohio’s economic future is enabled by the transition to a green economy. The green economy is the future economy. In just the last few weeks, the securities and exchange commission (SEC) issued rules requiring US publicly traded companies to account for climate pollution and how risks threats from global warming are being addressed; Cleveland Cliffs was selected to receive $575 million in federal funding to decarbonize plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the environmental protection agency (EPA) finalized national pollution standards expected to speed up the adoption of cleaner transportation options.  

And the green economy will favor places—like Northeast Ohio—that make things. The region is ripe for positive change, yet deep-seated income inequities and historical patterns of economic and geographic exclusion persist. Addressing these pre-existing conditions with urgency, especially the entrenched disparities perpetuated by systemic racism, is not just a moral imperative—it’s an economic one.  

What does this developing reality mean for leaders working towards a better tomorrow?  

The Practical Guide to the Green Economy demystifies the transition to the green economy. It elevates the components of the green economy relevant to our region’s inclusive economic development and calls for needed shifts in economic development strategies to maximize opportunity from the green economy. Sign up below to receive The Practical Guide to the Green Economy in your inbox April 22. 

Bethia Burke
President, Fund for Our Economic Future 


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