We equip change agents with the tools to build better communities and stronger economies.


Fourth Economy

Fourth Economy

is a national community and economic development consulting firm that focuses on fostering action to create great communities, impactful organizations, and strong economies.

Our VISION is a world where people are empowered to be co-creators of a sustainable economy and community.

Our PURPOSE is to ensure that the economy serves the people.

Our Values


In 2010, we founded Fourth Economy to define a new approach to economic development. One that puts people first and empowers organizations to serve with greater impact, positioning our partners to succeed in the “fourth economy.” 


The “fourth economy” represents the convergence of three prior economic phases—agricultural, industrial, and technological—and is defined by collaborative approaches to solving problems, attracting investment, and creating equitable growth.


We've had the fortune of working with many communities and organizations as partners in this mission. Today we are advancing this work by helping our partners become more sustainable, equitable, and resilient. We are committed to making an impact by providing a depth and breadth of innovative solutions for change agents seeking to create great communities and strong economies.

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Our Work

Fourth Economy takes a unique approach to working with our clients as partners. We effectively blend both quantitative and qualitative inputs at every point in the process. Most importantly, our focus is on developing realistic recommendations that can be easily understood and readily implemented.

  • Strong

    Strong economies are the product of innovative companies, effective support organizations, an attractive location for growth, and a healthy talent pipeline. 

  • Great

    Great communities drive economic success. Critical assets for modern economic development include housing stock that is diverse and affordable, mobility options that get people to where they need to be, and a robust array of cultural and recreational opportunities. 

  • Impactful Organizations

    Competitive organizations must regularly reevaluate themselves and their services to keep a competitive edge. We can partner with you to evaluate, understand, and adapt to the needs of those you’re serving.

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How does your

community rank?

The Community Index measures US counties in investment, talent, sustainability, place, and diversity. We know these indicators are signs that communities and economies are growing stronger

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What our clients are saying...

Mark Howell, CEO

Fourth Economy struck a very effective balance between aspiration and practicality. Fourth Economy understood our vision but also recognized resource and timing constraints.

John Sampson, President & CEO
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

From my direct interaction with Rich and his team, we derived significant benefit from their broad experience, research capabilities and adept interaction with our diverse base of stakeholders. Their past experiences and depth of knowledge have distinguished their clients in unique and beneficial ways. Candidly, in our case, there were two or three distinguishing advantages of our region which enabled a successful outcome. Fourth Economy’s contribution was one of those difference-makers in our successful grant request.

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Sherry Capello, Mayor
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

The Fourth Economy team was actively engaged with me and my Senior Staff. ...Based on both the process of working with Fourth Economy, as well as their ability to produce actionable analysis and recommendations, I would highly recommend them.

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Latest Insights

Get in Touch

Many of our most interesting projects stem from conversations with communities about where they are and where they want to be. Our specialty is in developing strategies that help communities achieve their goals. If you’d like to delve deeper, reach out! We'd love to connect with you.

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Phone: (412) 325-2457

Email: engage (at) fourtheconomy.com


Fourth Economy Consulting
1501 Preble Avenue
2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15233