To Build an Entrepreneurial Community, Listen to the Entrepreneurs [VIDEO]

March 23, 2015

8:00 pm

Della Rucker is the managing editor of Engaging Cities, an online magazine that explores new strategies and technologies in the public engagement and urban planning space. Throughout her tenure at the publication, she’s learned a few things about how policymakers should be interacting with citizens to develop the kinds of cities that people actually want. While it may sound like an obvious tip, Rucker notes in particular that if policymakers want to develop a city that’s more conducive to entrepreneurship, they simply have to listen to the entrepreneurs themselves.

“When policymakers identify that they want to work with entrepreneurial communities, and they want to foster those entrepreneurial communities within their place, a lot of times that’s a very forward thing,” says Rucker. “The first thing they really need to be doing is listening [to those entrepreneurs] in a very intensive and meaningful manner.”

Rucker stopped by to chat with us at SXSW to share her thoughts on the public engagement and city planning. And, according to her, what they’re finding at Engaging Communities is that there’s an overall higher emphasis on communities nowadays; people want to connect across different kinds of industries, across different tech sectors, and want to get involved in many different ways. This has really contributed to a kind of organic growth of several ecosystems.

Policymakers, however, can help push that growth further, and enables people to turn the ecosystems in which they live into their preferred kind of community. These policymakers can’t make that happen, though, when they’re the only ones developing the plans for these new communities. In order for a tech community to fully develop, legislators need to actually listen to the demands of those tech entrepreneurs. Rucker cites Austin as a great example of a city whose policymakers work towards including the voice of the tech community in its city planning through its Digital Inclusion office.

Watch Engaging Cities’s Della Rucker share more on her thoughts about public engagement and urban planning in the video below:

This video series was made possible through the support of Microsoft BizSpark and TrepLife.

Every entrepreneur has a great story–and Trep Life is here to tell it. We document the grind, hustle, and payoff of building companies.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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