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Friday, April 22, 2016

How Social Networks Encourage San Diego's Millennials to be Innovative

San Diego is an innovative place but can work on the "soft" side of innovation to create more economic growth. An article in The San Diego Union-Tribune entitled Downtown San Diego: The innovation economy’s latest frontier discusses some of the factors why San Diego is innovative and attracting Millennials. Understanding how innovation is developed through social interaction can help the business community create a stronger innovative environment.

According to the article, San Diego has 15.34 business start-ups per 10,000 people when compared to 1.35 per 10,000 people nationally. San Diego's downtown population is 1/3 Millennials  with a higher than average $73,000 per year income, and relatively educated population. The young demographic is attracted to walkability, cultural institutions, events and parks.

Young people live active lives and work to achieve their professional goals and spend a lot of time engaged in extra curricular activities or socializing with friends. San Diego is a friendly city with an abundant night life and an even more abundant outdoor activity. It can do more to foster innovative networks.

Beyond the beauty of the city itself, Millennials are also attracted to socializing with like-minded people. Innovative individuals prefer other innovative individuals who share similarities in ideas, dreams, and hopes. Personal social networks can create underground information networks that lead to further business innovation.

Even though innovation is realized as a business product in a boardroom it was built on a mountain of  previous conversations. New ideas are discovered when people of similar interests converse on leading topics in the field to come to new ideations. Radical ideas are then explored formally through science, market testing, and product development to create something of monetary value.

San Diego has the right mix of leading industries, universities, parks and enthusiastic Millennials to be a highly innovative city. Helping Millennials to find affordable housing in close proximity to each other while spurring social engagement through offering the right kind of establishments and social activities can help speed the underbelly of innovation.

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