Making sense of the big picture

Twenty-five years of getting our hands dirty in local communities has set us up well to look at the bigger picture.

We write policy studies founded on observations of what's happening and conclusions based on sound data. Topics we've covered include state government economic development and policy reform, the future of America's heartland, upward mobility and the future of the middle class, and competitive analysis of states and regions.

We've written studies for national foundations and civic organizations, and publish analysis and commentary at, a website we founded in 2008. Each spring, we publish the Best Cities for Job Growth, co-released at New Geography and Many of these studies are produced in partnership with author and futurist Joel Kotkin.

Recent Studies

Enterprising States 2010 and 2011 studies for the National Chamber Foundation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce
A Heartland Development Strategy, New America Foundation
The Broken Ladder: The Threat to Upward Mobility in the Global City, Legatum Institute
Reviving the City of Aspiration, Center for an Urban Future
Opportunity Urbanism, An Emerging Paradigm for the 21st Century