One of the myths of the I-Cubed (Information, Intangibles, Innovation) Economy is that "place" – the physical location of economic activity – no longer matters. With the "death of distance" we are told that economic activity can occur anywhere – as the current debate over offshoring illustrates. But, in a highly interconnected global economy, place may become even more important. In response to criticisms of offshoring, we hear over and over from corporate leaders that they must go to where the resources and the talent are located. Local intangible assets are becoming key factors in a company's competitive advantage. And the uniqueness of those local assets becomes ever more important.

In her earlier paper "Jurisdictional Advantage," Professor Maryann Feldman outlined a new approach to local economic development based on a community's unique characteristics. Drawing on theories of corporate competitive strategy, she argues that "jurisdictional advantage is established and maintained by implementing policies that enhance unique and location-specific capabilities." Her new paper, "Building Jurisdictional Advantage," builds on that theme and will discuss way that communities can craft a strategy to thrive in this new I-Cubed Economy. (Her earlier paper is available from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) at

Professor Maryann Feldman is the Jeffery S. Skoll Chair in Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Prior to joining Rotman, Feldman held the position of Policy Director for Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. She was also a research scientist at the Institute on Policy Studies at the University. Her research focuses on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research, and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. A large part of Feldman's work concerns the geography of innovation – investigating the reasons why innovation clusters spatially and the mechanisms that support and sustain industrial clusters.