• The idea behind the network created in 2006, which is called the New Club of Paris, to deal with the debt of emerging countries.

  • How a network of people who are interested in knowledge and intellectual capital on a global scale can be created.

  • To outline some common issues across the international landscape.

In addressing the question, “Why communities and intangibles now?” Bounfour discussed how communities are affected by the transformation of economic systems, particularly by the increase in networking and outsourcing. From his perspective, there is a close link between the dynamic changes occurring in the knowledge economy and the way people live. Large vertical corporations are less relevant, as many people are now working outside large enterprises, where they attempt to find a space for recognition. The conference on intellectual capital for communities deals with various natural communities—nations, regions, resident cities—and new forms of organizing in the knowledge economy. Aspects of intangibles and intellectual capital provide levers for reviving communities’ policies and strategies. Bounfour provided responses to the question: What makes people really want to invest in the intellectual capital of a nation or a city, and what makes a community different from companies?

The European Perspective

Bounfour first summarized reports from the European countries participating in the World Conference on Intellectual Capital for Communities. The Nordic countries, particularly Denmark, have done extensive work on intangibles, especially from what they call the “narrative perspective,” which is oriented less toward the financial aspect of the market and more toward the qualitative. This approach involves at least 200 companies reporting internally, in a narrative fashion, on knowledge as an asset.

Bounfour also cited Austria as an interesting case. It was the first country to enact guidelines—the 2001 Law on Universities and Research Centres—asking entities to report on intangibles. The law provides guidelines for reporting on inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes associated with activities related to intellectual capital and intangibles. Companies may be asked, “How much money do you receive from the government, how is it spent, what publications have been produced, etc.?” In this way, it is similar to what Baruch Lev was asking for with the template idea. There is also a Supreme Court of Audit that produces a report on intangibles. It involves a project called Knowledge Politics, which takes account of knowledge in cities by asking: What does intellectual capital mean for citizens? What does intellectual capital mean to policy makers? It is an issue not only for statisticians, but also for people, communities, and cities. Germany is similarly focused, not on the big corporations, but what it views as the core of the socioeconomic system in Germany—medium-sized

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