The first of Island Analysis’ quarterly 2014 Island Monitor Reports has now been released and is available for purchase either individually or on a subscription basis. The report focuses on Island Government Income & Expenditure trends and issues in a sample of 24 of the 100 islands that Island Analysis monitors around the world.
Since the last Monitor report, Island Analysis has further developed its Island Life Cycle concept, a representation of the observed cycle of development and reinvention that islands (like organisations and businesses) move through over time.
The company has identified key positive and negative factors and risk considerations for each of the Monitor’s 24 islands, and has positioned the islands accordingly within the Cycle’s four segments/phases, which are as follows:
- Building (where industries, GDP and wealth per capita grow strongly as an island community builds its expertise and attractiveness within relatively new areas of specialisation);
- Fine-Tuning (where recent success and specialisation in the ‘Building’ phase have begun to reduce the incentives for radical innovation, and have narrowed the focus to slower, prolonged fine-tuning of the status quo; the temptation may be to consume the benefits of past decisions rather than invest sufficiently to prepare for a changing world in the future);
- Stress/Crisis (where the earlier, prolonged ‘Fine-Tuning’ of the status quo has resulted in a failure to move with the times. The lack of adequate recent innovation and diversification results in stress to, or a crisis of, island economic performance and wealth).
- Re-invention (where the earlier ‘Stress/Crisis’ has forced radical action to create a new economy, with old ‘sacred cows’ and reluctance to change being swept away as a matter of economic necessity). ‘Reinvention’ leads back into ‘Building’.
The ‘Stress/Crisis’ phase can, however, potentially be reduced or eliminated altogether with, for example, scenario planning and taking innovative decisions. It is also possible for an island to move directly from ‘Building’ to ‘Stress/Crisis’ or vice versa. Economic diversification is an important factor in reducing the risk of future economic and social stress and crisis in island communities.
The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey have all been placed within the ‘Fine-Tuning’ phase, which means that they are at a critical point if they are to avoid or reduce the scale and duration of their own ‘Stress/Crisis’ phases.
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