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Manzanita Works Conference: Closing Gaps for a Thriving Bay Area Workforce

manzanita shrubFebruary 20, 2020 - As part of Joint Venture’s mission to tackle regional issues, we are co-sponsoring the Manzanita Works conference on March 20 in San Francisco. A panel of experts will examine some of the toughest issues such as education, housing, and transportation and arm attendees with ideas for action. Manzanita Works evolved from Manzanita Talks, convened by Joint Venture in partnership with the Bay Area Council to explore the logic and desirability of cross-sector collaboration to address regional traffic mitigation.

Learn more | Register

Capacity Crowd Gathers for State of the Valley

crowdDan Rather, others take aim at Valley challenges

February 18, 2020 - More than 1,300 people packed the McEnery Convention Center February 14 for the annual State of the Valley conference for a day spent discussing Silicon Valley's challenges and opportunities. The dialogue was rooted in the data contained in the 2020 edition of the Silicon Valley Index, streamlined into a 45-minute briefing by Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock. After hearing from urban designers, economic historians and from leading tech companies, news icon Dan Rather wrapped the conference. "The world has serious problems," Mr. Rather said, "and the technology of Silicon Valley can and will be a solution."

Read news accounts of the conference under the "In The News" section in the left sidebar of our home page.

2020 Silicon Valley Index: Continued Expansion, Mounting Challenges

Index coverFebruary 12, 2020 -Silicon Valley added more jobs, new levels of productivity, VC megadeals, and record amounts of commercial space last year according to the 2020 Silicon Valley Index, released by Joint Venture’s Institute for Regional Studies. The new edition shows that Silicon Valley continues its upward spiral with employment growth, eye-popping land transactions, and venture capital flowing into record numbers of megadeals. The latest Index also shows that conditions are harsh for the broad peripheries of the population as inequality reaches new dimensions.

Read the release | Download the Index

Dan Rather Delivers Keynote at State of the Valley

February 14, 2020 - News icon Dan Rather provided the keynote at Joint Venture’s 2020 State of the Valley conference February 14 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Mr. Rather delivered insight and perspective about how the Valley is shaping national dialogue. After his keynote, Mr. Rather shared the stage with Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock for a fireside-style chat. The packed house thanked the journalist with a standing ovation. Watch this space for the complete session in an upcoming video. 

Read his bio

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Comprehensive information and data about the Silicon Valley ecosystem is always available at

Data and charts from the Silicon Valley Index (and more) are presented on an interactive website that allows users to explore Silicon Valley trends. Indicators are presented by the Institute for Regional Studies. Housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Institute provides data and analysis on issues facing dense metropolitan regions.

Investors Spotlight

Donors invest in Joint Venture with both general support and project-specific gifts. Support from the community enables us to provide innovative solutions to issues that confront our regional economies and quality of life. Here are just a few of our many investors:

CreaTV San Jose logo Gavilan College logo Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority logo

Joint Venture offers a variety of support and sponsorship opportunities for individuals, corporations, and public sector organizations. To inquire about becoming a member of our Investors Council, call (408) 298-9330 or visit our Become an Investor page. To see our current investors, visit our investors pages.

What is Joint Venture Silicon Valley?

Established in 1993, Joint Venture brings together Silicon Valley’s established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues and work toward innovative solutions. In this short video see what Silicon Valley leaders have to say about the organization.

A Visit with CEC Leadership

At our January CPC/SEEDZ quarterly meeting, hosted by Google, we were honored to be joined by Chair Robert Weisenmiller and Deputy Director of Energy Research and Development Laurie ten Hope of the California Energy Commission. In this newsletter, we highlight their visit and new opportunities for our region to play a leading role in achieving California’s aggressive energy and environmental goals.

In Silicon Valley, energy customers, solution providers, municipalities, institutions and utilities are deploying the nation’s most advanced ‘smart energy’ solutions at scale, defined by new levels of performance and sustainability.

As a recent example, the number of plug-in and battery electric vehicles in Silicon Valley has grown by nearly 700% in the past 18 months. EVs supplied by distributed renewable resources and/or the local grid offer dramatic efficiency and GHG benefits in our area versus conventional vehicles. Indeed, EVs and EV infrastructure have rapidly become integral elements in the smart energy network of the future.

As always, we welcome your questions and feedback about SEEDZ.

Thanks for your interest!

Don Bray,
SEEDZ Executive Director

What's New In This Issue:

• California Energy Commission Chair Weisenmiller Discusses State Energy Policy
• EPIC ‘Pre-Proposal Roundtables’ Scheduled
• EV Infrastructure Workshop Keys Formation of Interest Group
• Sunnyvale Community Solar Feasibility Study Released

What's New

CEC Chair Weisenmiller Discusses Evolving State Energy Policy

Commissioner Weisenmiller chairs a five-member commission that is responsible for overseeing California’s energy forecasting, research and development, renewable energy development, efficiency standards, transportation alternatives, contingency planning, and the Integrated Energy Policy Report.

In his wide-ranging remarks, he outlined the state’s current energy policy and goals, the status of AB 32 implementation, and the impending 2014 AB32 Scoping Plan Update. He described how the state’s progressive energy policies - past, present, and future - have helped drive California’s investment and leadership in areas such as energy efficiency, renewables, demand programs and transportation energy.

The state’s new Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) was adopted in 2012 by the California Public Utilities Commission to support development and deployment of next generation clean energy technologies. The mission of EPIC, said Weisenmiller, is to fill critical funding gaps in advancing technologies and solutions that provide California’s IOU ratepayers with “clean, affordable and reliable electricity and help enable the 21st century power grid.” Competitive solicitations for select funding initiatives will start being released early this year, he said.

Chair Weisenmiller’s presentation to the SEEDZ team

EPIC ‘Pre-Proposal Roundtables’ Scheduled

As noted by Chair Weisenmiller, several hundred million dollars in smart energy research and deployment grants are being made available under California’s new EPIC program in the coming months. SEEDZ is conducting a series of seven EPIC Pre-proposal Roundtables for interested SEEDZ participants during February and March.

The seven roundtables are organized by EPIC funding area: building energy efficiency, electric vehicles, demand response and customer-side storage, distributed generation, grid monitoring and DER integration, innovation cluster, and community and training.

The goals of the roundtables are to:

convene SEEDZ organizations interested in possibly pursuing EPIC grant funding in a given funding area.

review specific related initiatives as currently defined by the CEC.

engage in a group discussion of related experience, priorities, and possible proposal approaches and teaming roles.

help participants determine degree of fit and interest in teaming to pursue specific EPIC grant opportunities going forward.

EV Infrastructure Workshop Keys Interest Group Formation

In November, SEEDZ conducted an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Workshop, hosted by Juniper Networks. More than 700 charging stations have been recently deployed by employers in the SEEDZ area, with many more installations planned.

The workshop featured SEEDZ survey results on EV infrastructure deployment trends, governance, and related challenges at ten local employers. In addition, experts from Google, SAP, ChargePoint, PG&E, GridScape, EPRI, Green Charge Networks and LBNL discussed opportunities and challenges for EV infrastructure from the perspective of the infrastructure hosting energy customer, EVSE network provider, system integrator and utility.

As an outgrowth of the workshop, the SEEDZ EV Infrastructure Interest Group was launched to help practitioners at local organizations establish and share best practices for EV infrastructure and expansion. At the group’s first meeting in January, attendees identified key issues and areas of focus. These included establishing a collective ‘rule of thumb’ for scaling targets and strategies, approaches for managing driver/user behavior, communications protocols, physical configuration and optimization, energy management approaches, EV parking policies and incentives, procurement/RFP processes, EVSE and cloud feature development and rate and/or penalty structures.

The next SEEDZ EV Infrastructure Interest Group is scheduled for Tuesday March 18th at NetApp. Please contact Lisa Bruner for more information if you are interested in attending.

Sunnyvale Community Solar Feasibility Study Released

At its November 26th meeting, the Sunnyvale City Council discussed staff recommendations on ways the City could help advance uptake of solar power within the community. This included programs for community engagement and volume purchase, and the possibility of constructing a large ‘shared’ solar array on city property to provide solar power to community subscribers.

Sunnyvale study cover

To support deployment of net-metered solar within the community, the City Council voted to participate in the American Solar Transformation Initiative's (ASTI) Solar Roadmap Project. Due to current siting and financial uncertainties, the council voted to hold off on constructing a community solar array for now, and opted to reach out to Santa Clara about possible collaboration on a community array.

Joint Venture SEEDZ, in association with Optony and RevGen Consulting, developed the supporting Sunnyvale Community Solar Array Development Feasibility Study, evaluating a range of critical regulatory, financial, and physical site considerations for community solar in Sunnyvale. The study reviews new options for deployment of shared solar resources under California’s recently-passed SB43 Green Tariff Shared Renewables (GTSR) program.

A CPUC rulemaking process is currently shaping the exact details of the SB43 GTSR program, with a final ruling due in July 2014. Rate structures and affinity models as detailed in the ruling will have a significant impact on the practical viability of community shared renewables for the immediate future.

The SEEDZ stakeholders meet regularly under the auspices of Joint Venture’s Climate Prosperity Council, co-chaired by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Accenture Institute Executive Research Fellow Chris DiGiorgio. The council includes representatives from Google, EPRI, NetApp, Optony, PG&E, NASA Ames Research Center, Integral Group, Juniper Networks, Accenture, McCalmont Engineering, Microsoft, the Cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, and other leading Silicon Valley organizations.

Visit for more information.

How are we defining Smart Energy?

An integrated portfolio of new practices, standards and technologies for improved performance and sustainability in the generation, distribution and use of energy throughout the community.

For more information about SEEDZ, please contact:

Don Bray

Executive Director, SEEDZ
(408) 298-9338(408) 298-9338

Or visit us on the web at

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Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides analysis and action on issues affecting our region's economy and quality of life.

© 2014 Joint Venture Silicon Valley |

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In The News

February 20, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - The Inflection Election: Russell Hancock, CEO of the nonprofit think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley, sees some of the “techlash” as an inevitable result of the dominance of the region’s tech giants. More

February 18, 2020 - (IEEE Spectrum) - What’s in Store for 5G This Year: “Later this year could see the deployment of 5G-enhanced mobile broadband networks for portable devices used in malls, convention centers, and sports arenas, says David Witkowski, executive director of the Wireless Communications Initiative at the nonprofit Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

February 15, 2020 - ( - A Silicon Valley Life Lesson: Money that ‘Clumps’ Crushes - Housing costs in Silicon Valley, the Institute for Regional Studies report notes, “remain the highest in the nation.” More

February 15, 2020 - (Opinion-Russian publication) - Are you planning to move to Silicon Valley? ...[per] Joint Venture Silicon Valley, for the third year in a row more people leave the region than come. More

February 15, 2020 - (Mercury News) - State of the Valley is looking good — but not for everyone: The State of the Valley conference, Joint Venture’s annual “town hall” meeting on Friday had plenty of the usual superlatives about the positive aspects of life in Silicon Valley. More

February 15, 2020 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Silicon Valley leaders highlight growing inequality during annual State of the Valley: During the annual State of the Valley conference on Friday, top Silicon Valley leaders highlighted how the gap between rich and poor is widening in the region... more

February 14, 2020 - (Protocol) - Dan Rather in Silicon Valley: ‘These pipelines have wreaked havoc’ - Rather, the former CBS News anchor, told the audience during his keynote address at the State of the Valley conference in San Jose. More

February 14, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - From the editor: A 'tenuous' take on Silicon Valley's state of play -In a document as rich as the annual Silicon Valley Index, with its multiple charts and graphs detailing the local economy, there’s one page that I always look to as a barometer — Russell Hancocks “about the index”...More

February 13, 2020 - (Hayvine) - Tech Becomes The Highest Economic Generator In Silicon Valley:The tech industry has generated almost half of the jobs in the Valley for two consecutive years, and Russell Hancock, President of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said... More

February 13, 2020 - (Planetzen) -Tech Buses: Not Just for Techies, and Not Just for San Francisco:"That just tells you the story of the Bay Area," said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of regional think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

February 13, 2020 - (NBC Bay Area) - Income Gap Widens in Silicon Valley: Report: The latest figures from Joint Venture Silicon Valley show a widening gap between the haves and have-nots in the Bay Area. More

February 13, 2020 - (World Journal) - Silicon Valley annual index 13% Silicon Valley population holds 75% of wealth: Joint Venture Silicon Valley announced the 2020 Silicon Valley Annual Index on the 12th. More

February 12, 2020 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Business booms as inequality grows in Silicon Valley, report finds: The problem tends to be worse for those who have less money, said Rachel Massaro, vice president and director of research for the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More

February 12, 2020 - (Palo Alto Online) - Income inequality reaches a 'historic high' in Silicon Valley, new report shows: The Silicon Valley Index, an annual overview of the region's economic and demographical trends, highlights some of the region's most notable trends of 2019. More

February 12, 2020 - (ABC7) - Some Silicon Valley residents under financial stress with growing tech economy: "We have very high earners, and they are thriving, and they're building out the tech sector. But the rest of us are in those stagnating quadrants of the economy," said Dr. Russell Hancock, Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO. More

February 12, 2020 - (Mountain View Voice) - Income inequality reaches a 'historic high' in Silicon Valley, new report shows: The Silicon Valley Index, an annual overview of the region's economic and demographical trends, highlights some of the region's most notable trends of 2019. More

February 12, 2020 - (CNET) - Silicon Valley continues losing people as costs rise, report says:There have been 821,000 new jobs created in the Bay Area since the recession, but only 173,000 new housing units, said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture CEO and president Russell Hancock. More

February 12, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - Red flags emerge for booming Silicon Valley economy:The latest edition of the Silicon Valley Index, the annual overview of the region’s economic and social wellbeing, reveals both an economy that’s starting to slow down as well as a society that’s being stretched and stressed. More

February 12, 2020 - (Mercury News) - Tech becomes bigger economic engine for Silicon Valley, Bay Area: new report:Over the 12 months that ended in mid-2019, Silicon Valley added about 29,000 jobs, the 2020 Silicon Valley Index report determined. More

February 12, 2020 - (Protocol) -For the third consecutive year, Silicon Valley saw more people leave than come in."The granularity of migration data in this year's Index is eye-opening – we're essentially turning over our population by nearly 5% every year, with the influx of foreign immigrants increasing our region's diversity and tech talent base," said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and director of research. More