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TRE Networks advances the university role in regional development through:

National Convening Activities
In an effort to lead dialogue about regional development policy and the university role, and to help shape a regional development policy agenda, TRE Networks hosts an annual TRE Roundtable meeting. At the Roundtable, thought leaders in higher education, government, business, and non-profits gather to identify effective practices and strategies for advancing regional transformation. Learn more on our Events page. 

TRE Networks also works to foster dialogue on an ongoing basis through a series of podcasts, a blog, discussions on LinkedIn, and a regularly-updated Twitter feed. We hope you’ll join the conversation by connecting to TRE Networks through these convening activities.

Regional Convening and Transformative Development
While a national policy dialogue is an essential ingredient to the proposed transformation system, localizing this discussion in regions is an essential next step.  TRE Networks plans to move the work closer to the practitioners who can deliver on the vision in the region by shifting the focus to regional convening and capacity-building with regional anchor institutions.

Following is a description of planned regional convening and transformative development efforts. To learn more, please contact Meredith Aronson at TRE Networks.

Objectives of regional convening include establishing regional transformation narratives that integrate talent, innovation and place, while drawing the local universities into the process of change.  In so doing, TRE will assist in building intentional networks, setting shared agenda, and developing capacity for regional change. The creation of a central narrative and “buzz” around TRE serves as a foundation for players across the Quad Helix to collaborate productively.

Assumptions implicit in the programs proposed for “Regional Convening Capacity-Building Activities” are:

  • Creating a shared narrative and regional network around TRE within a region establishes a framework for future strategic collaboration.
  • Building initial regional capacity for civic collaboration and TRE implementation is a first step in broadening the movement and translating it into high-impact, local change.
  • Local anchor higher education institutions will host the activities, creating them as local centers for leadership in TRE.
  • Regional forums will surface regional excellence to leverage in later pilot phases of TRE.

Intended outcomes of regional convening and capacity-building, in each target region:

  • An established regional network of partners, including an anchor higher education institution
  • A shared vision, or narrative, among partners for innovation-based regional development.
  • Initiation of a civic collaboration framework, and capacity among practitioners in the region to facilitate civic collaboration resulting in an action agenda.

Components to be wrapped together into events to accomplish the intended outcomes include:

  • Regional TRE Roundtables. Much like the national TRE Roundtable, Regional TRE Roundtables will bring together keynote speakers who promote a central narrative about universities and the Quad Helix working across networks, narratives, talent, innovation, and place in innovation-based regional development.  In addition, research prior to the event will surface regional leaders doing innovative work that fits into this narrative, which will be included in panel discussions.  Interactive sessions will ensure connections and engagement on the part of the participants, both in strengthening the narrative and creating the regional networks of participants.
  • Train-the-Trainer Civic Collaboration and Strategic Doing Workshops. Bookending the Regional TRE Roundtable is an optional Train-the-Trainer session for regional players involved in workforce development, economic development, or community development.  Part-day training sessions followed by post-workshop mentoring by out-of-region practitioners will build regional capacity in practitioners who can facilitate groups with these powerful models for civic collaboration and “strategic doing.” (a proven methodology for helping groups establish action-oriented collaborations for regional development).
  • Regional TRE Implementation Workshops. Bookending the Regional TRE Roundtable at the back end is an optional TRE Implementation Workshop, where seasoned TRE advisors can facilitate a regional group through the first steps in a process for TRE, using the tools of civic collaboration and strategic doing, and guiding the group towards transformational activities.  Outcomes of these workshops are committed regional players who share a narrative, but more importantly a group that then works to deliver a dynamic strategic action agenda for the region.
  • Regional TRE Assessment Services. Further reinforcing the translation of the shared narrative around TRE into actual first steps towards implementation, Regional TRE Assessment Services will provide two separate interactions between seasoned TRE advisors and a regional team.  The first interaction will establish an overall assessment of regional readiness in TRE along with potential metrics for progress, and the second interaction will be a follow-up to provide input and make recommendations for future activities.