The Sunshine Coast, a sprawling municipality in eastern Australia, was once known principally for sunshine, scenery and a climate that made it a destination for tourists and retirees. Not content with this fragile economic base, local leaders led development of a 20-year growth strategy focusing on high-value, knowledge-based industries including professional services, advanced manufacturing and high tech.

This ambitious transition was based on strong and effective leadership from business and continuing collaboration with employers, nonprofits and educators. Economic development focused on supporting existing businesses with an innovation edge and attracting new ones. Education was revamped to target local career opportunities for an increasingly skilled workforce.

The city successfully lobbied for broadband investment from Australia's NBN Network and invested in an international submarine cable landing at a new greenfield city center. Step by step, leveraging local investment and the talents of its people, the city built an innovation ecosystem from scratch, became a high-tech destination without losing the attractions that support tourism and quality of life.

How did Sunshine Coast do it? Find out.

How have other communities learned to accelerate?

Learn from Sunshine Coast’s economic development leader and many others in the Community Accelerator Spotlight course: Turning Digital Bits Into Real Coin. Thirty minutes of your time will pay big dividends in your work.
 
 

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