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The Intersection of Poverty and Wealth

Track: CASE

Keywords: Innovation clusters; Strategic leadership; Change Management

Successful innovation clusters have demonstrated that they can have far reaching local and regional impact. Many of these clusters, such as Silicon Valley, California, have leveraged the diversity of world class institutions, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The impetus for establishing these types of clusters spans a vast spectrum suited to the needs of a particular geographic area or region. While there are several examples of successful innovation clusters, there is a lack of literature that explores the infancy stages required for this strategic development. This exploratory case study aimed to fill this gap through investigating the creation of a medical innovation cluster (“Medzone”) in Sacramento, California. The goal of the Medzone initiative was to create a win-win scenario for the Sacramento region, impoverished Oak Park neighborhood and community stakeholders. Success would include creating jobs, developing land assets, increasing investment and impacting the quality of life for Oak Park residents. In that respect, the case also explored the impact such an effort has, when driven by city management, on economic development in an impoverished urban setting.


Keisha Liggett-Nichols -
Drexel University

Cuneyt Gozu -
Drexel University

Edward Arnheiter -
Drexel University


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