Territorial Economic Development

Mesopartner is one of the pioneering consultancy firms in local and regional development (LRED) in developing countries. From the outset we have built on the work of our late partner Dr. Jörg Meyer-Stamer, who developed the Hexagon to systematize the main aspects of this approach and who, for more than a decade, created with PACA a leading bottom-up approach for the German and international development cooperation.

Over the last two decades the LRED approach has matured, but has also shown certain limitations (i.e. lack of connection with national top-down policy, focus on small, less relevant initiatives). At the same time, questions related to climate change, sustainability and inclusiveness require that the approach be broadened beyond competitiveness.

We are convinced that we need a renewed approach and propose a new name – Territorial Economic Development (TED), highlighting the relevance of the non-material, cognitive and relational assets of place-based development.

The following are the guiding questions of our research in the field of territorial economic development (these questions  partially overlap with other Mesopartner research themes)

  • What are the ultimate goals of TED?
  • How to scale up and increase the relevance of TED?
  • How can bottom-up and top-down approaches contribute synergistically to development?
  • What is the specific contribution of territory in catching-up strategies?
  • How to relate local and global approaches?
  • What is the role of territory for innovation systems?
  • How must TED respond to increasing uncertainty and complexity?
  • What is the specific relevance of data and information and communication technologies for TED?
  • Why and how to make the TED approach complexity sensitive?
  • How to adapt the approach to different territorial configurations (ideal-types of regions)?

In researching the theme of Territorial Development we benefited from the work undertaken with some key clients and network partners.

Important inspiration for this applied research was also provided by the contact and interchange with the academics from the JMS-Scholarship network.