The Metro Outlook 2.0 Model

A Simpler Diagram of Goal Relationships

These linkages established by putting the regional goals in order are diagrammed more simply below. Using the same numbering scheme, the goals form a systems diagram in the shape of a modified “figure 8.” This diagram can be thought of as the dual of the Metro Outlook 2.0 model, one expressed purely in terms of the region's goals as opposed to how it operates. In this case, as in many mathematical problems, the dual proves easier to work with.


  1. Talented people
  2. choose inherently attractive communities
  3. with the social cohesion
  4. to make strategic regional decisions
  5. creating high-performing institutions
  6. that invest in both people and place,
  7. to attract, develop and retain the human capital necessary
  8. for area firms to be sufficiently innovative to compete globally
  9. while using resources efficiently and sustainably
  10. ultimately providing expanding levels of profit and income for further strategic investments that make the region's people, places, economy and natural areas even stronger.

This diagram is a significant simplification of the Metro Outlook 2.0 model. Not surprisingly, such an abstraction results in some lost connections. For example, institutions (e.g., businesses) invest directly in the economy and don't just work through investment in human capital.

However, the diagram captures that in today's innovation-based economy, human capital is a more critical resource than plant and equipment, or perhaps more accurately, that investment in plant and equipment is really a method of increasing human capacity.

Similarly, utilizing natural resources efficiently will positively influence attractiveness of place directly. The diagram emphasizes the larger point — that being efficient frees resources and increases opportunities to make more strategic investments at a later point.

Note that the goals on the top half are more like ultimate outcomes or objectives; those in the middle are the tools needed to achieve them; and those on the bottom are the capacities needed to make effective use of the tools. This means that the highest leverage is found in affecting the bottom circle.

Therefore, our analysis of economic indicators starts with the goals in this bottom loop.

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