Fundamental Change is Possible – Matthew Fienup

In 805conversations by Mark Sylvester

Crafting policy that makes a difference

When you invite growers into the process of designing policy, you’ll get innovative and creative solutions.”Matthew Fienup, Economist, CERF

Matthew Fienup is a Lecturer and the Executive Director of Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University. His work as an economist is regularly delivered to a variety of groups throughout the region.

Matthew is a man of many interests. He’s studied professional photography, see photos here, (Summa Cum Laude at Brooks Institute) as well as architecture and started a rock-climbing business that still creates unique adventures for people. He is also completing his Ph.D. at the Bren School at UCSB.

Matthew holds a Masters degree in Economics from UCSB. His specialty is econometric analysis and the economics of private land use. Matthew is also active in the issues surrounding urban growth restriction and groundwater management policy in Ventura County.

In this episode we talk about;
• How you go from rock climbing, photography, and art to economics
• A good description of what the Center for Economic Research & Forecasting is all about. 
• His interest: public policy and why it’s important
• How the last two years have produced significant policy changes
• How the water shortage prompted policy changes and how working with growers, the community and the public sector made policy’s that will make a difference.
• Did you know that Ventura County has some of the most valuable agricultural land in the world (we didn’t)
• How Cap and Trade policies could impact water in Ventura County
• How his work at the Bren Center informs his day job at the University
• He gave us some insight into his Rock Climbing business too
• How specific market niches in Ventura affect the economy, including biotech, the Naval Base, and Agriculture
• How the growth in low-wage jobs in healthcare and leisure and hospitality are affecting the local economy
• His interest in California’s Natural History – and what we don’t know – you’ll have to listen to find out
• We loved his explanation of the Bread Box Theory.