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From Site Selection magazine, May 2021

Time to Change Your Game Plan?


A year after my May 2020 Editor’s View, “On Plexiglass and the New Normal,” I’m still working at home 90% of the time. I could go to our offices — several Conway Data staff members are there regularly. But I don’t miss the commute, and after producing several issues of Site Selection remotely, we have that down pat. After a year of change, not much has changed, it seems.

What has changed is a complete overhaul of our Global Best to Invest rankings, thanks to the efforts of Managing Editor Adam Bruns and Conway Data data crunchers working tirelessly behind the scenes. They still reflect successful countries and metros around the globe. But important components have been added to the methodology that add even more weight to the exercise of evaluating capital investment destinations worldwide. How many of you have assigned a staff member the task of indexing, analyzing, and ranking locations using multiple sources of global investment-attraction data? If you haven’t, don’t worry. It’s in this issue.

You also will find here winner of the 2021 Prosperity Cup, which is awarded to the state-level economic agencies that were most effective in landing direct investment — and creating prosperity — in the past year. It recognizes the competitive strategies that were most effective. Many are at work in the high-ranking states, of course, on many levels involving many entities. In this year’s winning state, two competitive strategies drive all the others: Never take for granted that a project is won, and make sure every player’s timing and deliverable is executed flawlessly at every turn (change).

Such strategies are no doubt behind the winners of the Mac Conway award, recognizing similar economic development agency success on the regional and local levels. They, too, are part of our Best to Invest content — not because the editors think so, but because all rankings in this annual content set are objectively determined by what the project data and other data sets tell us.

Other highlights of the May issue include new takes on the importance of water to industries of all kinds. You’ll see how locations that have plenty are using that asset to their advantage, and how a desert location in a drought has a lot more water available for industry than you would ever think. And the Q&A with Amazon’s head of worldwide economic development is not to be missed. You’ll find some timely insights in that interview about how the e-commerce behemoth manages its rapidly changing footprint in the U.S. and around the world.

Change is good, even when it seems routine.

Till next time,
Mark Arend, Editor in Chief


Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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