This issue explores the Reinventing Our Communities conference theme of Investing in Opportunity and discusses three essential paradigm shifts needed to effectively address the community and economic development barriers of the past, meet the challenges of the future, and catalyze action in the present:

  1. Build wealth rather than extract wealth from communities by becoming intentional about issues of equity.
  2. Leverage new resources by shifting focus from addressing market failures to also exploring market opportunities.
  3. Move from short-term, transactional approaches to transformational strategies that foster long-term systems change.

To actualize these paradigm shifts, we must begin investing in opportunity in a holistic way that acknowledges the critical intersections between people and place. Throughout the conference, we explored effective models and emerging strategies for investing in four pillars of capital — human, financial, physical, and social — to foster economic growth by enabling every individual to contribute to and derive benefit from the economy. In this issue of Cascade, our authors share critical insights and bold recommendations to push the next generation of community and economic development practitioners to engage in the policy and programmatic work that will address these issues.

As we look to the future for our industry, we also pause to reflect on where we have been. Since 1984, Cascade has served as the community development journal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, regularly reaching thousands of community development practitioners and representatives from financial institutions, nonprofits, and government agencies across the Third Federal Reserve District, as well as a national audience across the community development field.

Cascade was the first community development publication in the Federal Reserve System and has been published continuously since 1984, bringing us to this milestone 100th issue. Under the guidance of longtime managing editor, Keith Rolland, Cascade has approached community development issues in an evenhanded manner, explaining not only the positives of emerging initiatives but also the issues and challenges. It is with my deepest respect that I commend Keith Rolland for his leadership in the field and again congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement last year.

As we recognized at this year’s Reinventing Our Communities conference and reflect upon in this issue of Cascade, certain paradigm shifts are needed in how we approach our work in the community development field. We also know the way that we communicate with you, our readers and partners, must also shift. We look forward to providing updates in 2019 regarding our new communications strategy. Although the ways with which we communicate with you may change, we will always remain committed to sharing timely, relevant, objective information in our pursuit of promoting economic mobility and improving regional economies in inclusive ways.

We look forward to continuing this important work with all of you in 2019 and beyond.