Does Spokane foster a vibrant, entrepreneurial culture?

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Sp...

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I previously posted an item about whether or not Spokane fosters a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture. There are many factors that impact the local culture.

Eastern Washington University has done some research on the issue of culture in Spokane and how that affects economic opportunities in Spokane especially in regards to creating a self sustaining high technology industry here:

If conclusions about the cultural source of the Silicon Valley’s advantage are not wide of the mark, then the contrasting ethos found in the Spokane region likely functions to limit this area’s high-tech economic development:

1) Spokane culture is distrustful, making the formation of innovative, cooperative networks very difficult.

2) Spokane culture is taciturn. Important public issues, especially those related to economic development, are difficult to discuss frankly in a public forum. Public disagreement is viewed as disruptive, while good manners and deference to the domain of others rule out certain conversations altogether. Thus, successful public policy, or even coordinated private action, is difficult to fashion.

3) Spokane culture displays a profound distrust of local and state government, which makes it difficult for government to be employed as a tool to enhance the social-esthetic environment so important to the ability of firms to attract talent and retain it in the area. Furthermore, this outlook tends to make government responsible for the absence of robust economic growth, especially in relation to tax and economic policy. Paradoxically, this same culture easily looks to government as a source of economic development, especially through various forms of imported subsidies.

4) Spokane culture does not fully understand and appreciate the role of a research university as an economic driver for the region. Even high-tech firms in the region tend not to perceive a need for a vigorous, local research climate. Though pockets of support for research can be identified, such research is not synonymous with support for a research-university. Corporate support for a research-university is not strong. Those who desire a research presence in the region have no well-thought-out approach to its creation and sometimes possess operational codes that are at odds with it.

5) Spokane culture has a very weak sense of regional symbiosis. Thus, most individual participants in the area do not link their own future success with that of the region as a whole. Rather, economic success is more likely to be seen as an individual or corporate matter that may be threatened by the success of others. In addition, such an outlook impairs development of a political mechanism that might be used to encourage appropriate instances of regional policy integration.


Report by Shane E. Mahoney, Ph.D., EWU, retrieved from The quote above is from the executive summary available here:

We have some great university programs in the Spokane area with many professors doing valuable research. Unfortunately, little of it seems to receive the attention it deserves.


3 Responses to Does Spokane foster a vibrant, entrepreneurial culture?

  1. Pingback: Does Spokane have a “vibrant, entrepreneurial” culture? « Spokane Economic And Demographic Data

  2. Pingback: Economic Strategies for Spokane – Part 6 – Culture and Ecosystem « Spokane Economic And Demographic Data

  3. Pingback: Nothing on this web site is original « Spokane Economic And Demographic Data

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