In his talk, Michael Porter discussed an Inner City regeneration project he's advised in Newark NJ.
The key was to stop defining the community in terms of its deficiencies, and focus instead on the kinds of competitive advantage that would make someone want to put real big resource into it.
This its Unemployed became its Underutilized workforce. Its Post Industrial location became its central location in a regional cluster. Its lack of retail facilities became an underserved local market, with a density yielding more purchasing power per square mile than the suburbs.
I often hear people define their parishes in terms of deficits. How can Churches learn to reframe the way we see ourselves in terms of opportunity instead of past glory and shortages?