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Nowak Metro Finance Lab Vision

About Us

Since its founding in 2018, the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University has helped cities and metropolitan areas adjust to disruptive change in ways that leverage their distinctive competitive assets and further innovative, inclusive, and resilient growth.

The hallmark of the Lab’s approach has been constant interaction with reflective practitioners in the public, private, and civic sectors and with organizations which share that orientation, representing an intentional theory of impact.

What the Lab Does

As the Lab begins the next half decade of its work, it is determined to maintain and enhance this commitment to practitioner-led research & development. The Lab plans to do this in three ways:

  1. Help set the broad economic context for city and metropolitan performance

    The Lab objectively distills the macro forces and large-scale investments that are roiling the country and describes why they are critical for the neighborhood, city, and metropolis. The need for bottom-up strategies that are co-created by radical collaboration between public, private, civic, and community institutions and intermediaries has never been more critical.

  2. Give cities and metropolitan areas tools and strategies to understand their starting points within the new economic order and leverage it to the hilt for local impact

    The implications of macro-economic forces vary considerably across the country given the distinctive nature of metropolitan economies as well as differences in local capacities and capabilities. Given this complexity, the Nowak Lab is striving to create new kinds of actionable economic analyses which enable city and metro leaders to design and implement strategies that mitigate the negative repercussions and elevate the positive ones.

  3. Work with federal, state, and local governments as well as financial institutions and intermediaries, to pioneer next generation capital instruments and funds

    As the US funds the industrial/energy transition at scale, cities and metro areas are experimenting with innovative approaches and products that address a series of disparate capital challenges. To this end, the Lab remains determined to equip cities and metros to fill Capital Gaps, address Capital Deficiencies, deal with super-sized Capital Threats.

The Lab is committed to being an asset for its home region of Philadelphia through being an objective source of data and analysis and an idea generator for spurring inclusive growth.