Planning and Advising

Research alone isn’t enough to move economic development forward. CED works hands-on with clients to turn knowledge into action through an imaginative yet proven set of tools. We are in our element when it comes to creative solutions for spurring economic growth at the local, regional, or community level--urban and rural alike.

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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) development

A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a U.S. Economic Development Administration tool that contributes to effective economic development through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process. Economic development planning as implemented through a CEDS serves as a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration. Simply put, a CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development (EDA).

CED has authored CEDS for communities across Alaska, including a Statewide CEDS, and focuses on actionable, implementable plans.

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Design thinking facilitation

Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving. Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategy. This approach brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren't trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges (IDEO).

CED’s IDEO-certified staff work with our clients to identify how design thinking tools can help them achieve their goals.


Funding strategies

CED helps tribes, local governments, and private entities vet their projects and identify funding strategies from a variety of sources.


Strategic Doing implementation

Strategic Doing teaches people how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes and make adjustments along the way. It is a new strategy discipline that is lean, agile and fast—just what organizations, communities and regions need to survive and thrive (Strategic Doing).

Asking the questions “What could we do?”, “What should we do?”, and “What will we do?” CED’s staff guides our clients through this process, leveraging and linking assets to meet their goals.


Strategic planning (organizational and community)

Most of us have seen expensive, lengthy strategic plans sitting on a shelf, gathering dust. Unfortunately, this is a frequent outcome of many strategic planning efforts. With this in mind, CED developed our own process that results in a realistic, living document with actionable goals to be met within the next one to two years. During development, our staff will facilitate realistic conversations about capacity, alignment with mission and vision, and organizational interests.