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January 2016

Seattle 7th among most future-ready cities

Four West Coast cities were among the top 10 "most future-ready cities" according to a model commissioned by Dell. Seattle placed 7th on the model, which is meant as a tool for cities to gauge their preparation for future growth.

San Jose topped the list followed by San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston and Austin.

The findings were based on insights and criteria developed at the 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit: Enabling Economies for the Future, hosted by Harvard University.

The summit identified three primary characteristics of Future Ready Economies: the ability to attract people who are engaged in and open to lifelong learning that drives innovation; businesses that thrive in collaborative environments; and infrastructure that provides platforms for people to engage, collaborate, learn and innovate.

San Jose ranked highly in labor force participation, productivity and wages and productivity growth, while the second-place city, San Francisco, topped the chart in human capital as well as innovation and investment. But researchers concluded both lagged behind other top cities in infrastructure.

Denver, Portland (Ore.) and Dallas-Fort Worth followed Seattle to round out the 10 list of top 10 Future Ready Economies.

"We're very confident these cities will grow faster in the next five to ten years than most other cities," said James Diffley, IHS Economics Group Managing Director for U.S. Regional Services.

The index revealed that future readiness is not dependent on geography or being "better" than other economies, but rather relies on finding the strengths in a given economy and capitalizing on them.

Dell commissioned IHS Economics to conduct the study.