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State of the Valley draws 1100 regional leaders, citizens

Joint Venture’s 2011 State of the Valley Conference attracted more than 1100 of our region’s business leaders, elected representatives, educators, community leaders and other citizens to downtown San Jose on February 18 for the annual “town hall” meeting on Silicon Valley’s economic health.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Accenture California Managing Director Chris DiGiorgio, co-chairs of the Joint Venture Board of Directors, opened the conference with welcoming remarks that set the tone for a productive and engaging day of dialogue.

The agenda included briefings on the annual Silicon Valley Index and the crisis in local government finance, strong keynote presentations by Christina Romer, Neal Peirce and President Thomas Jefferson, a forum on the state of urban regions, panel discussions on our innovation economy and the movement toward regionalism in local government, and the Packard Award presentation.

The event and the 2011 Silicon Valley Index generated widespread international print, online and broadcast news coverage, including the Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg/Businessweek, Forbes, PBS, NPR, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, KQED, KLIV, KCBS, KGO, NBC Bay Area and international media outlets.

We are grateful to our lead sponsor, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, along with presentation sponsors Accenture, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente. We also salute our media sponsors: KQED public radio and KTEH-TV public television, NBC Bay Area, the San Jose Mercury News, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and KLIV radio.

Read, listen to and watch the coverage on Joint Venture in the news here.

Christina Romer: Restoring America’s Prosperity

In her keynote remarks, President Obama's former chief economic advisor Christina Romer said Silicon Valley’s innovative tech companies are well-positioned to help lead the nation out of the recession. However, she sounded the alarm about the long-term deficit, which she termed “a slow-moving train wreck that everyone can see coming years in advance.”



Click here to the read the Mercury News article on Ms. Romer's remarks.

Neal Peirce: A Golden Moment for America’s Metropolitan Regions

Neal Peirce, author, journalist, and America’s strongest voice for regions, told the audience that the fiscal problems facing Silicon Valley cities are not unique to our region. “What is unique about Silicon Valley, however, is your ability to be innovative,” he encouraged. “You need to show the nation how to do it. You need to be as innovative about this public sector problem as you have been in your amazing start-up companies.”

Following his remarks, Peirce participated in a hard-hitting conversation about how to crank it up a notch with the Bay Area Transportation Commission’s executive director Steve Heminger and Bay Conservation & Development Commission executive director Will Travis.

Click here to read Peirce's published work at Citistates.

Clay Jenkinson: Silicon Valley Through the Eyes of Thomas Jefferson

Historian, scholar and cultural commentator Clay Jenkinson, in both the persona and garb of the nation’s third president, gave the packed ballroom his 18th century perspective on 21st Century Silicon Valley. He expressed wonder and amazement at our technology, celebrated the Valley’s innovative and meritocratic culture, and professed profound befuddlement at the state of our politics. “California is too large to be manageable,” the former president opined, reminding the audience he had favored smaller units for statehood and urging California’s residents to reconsider their political structure. “Remember, the earth belongs to the living. Nobody should feel encumbered by institutions that were created by the dead. Every generation must create their own institutions, and their own constitutions.”

Click here to listen to Russell Hancock’s interview with Jenkinson-as-Jefferson on KLIV.

2011 Index: Our Annual Checkup

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock briefed the attendees on the 2011 Silicon Valley Index, our comprehensive annual report on the health of the region. Hancock shared data showing the region is making slow but noticeable progress from the recession, fueled by job creation, income growth, new patents, a rise in venture funding, and a rebounding IPO market. But he also cautioned that the recovery is offset by a growing crisis in local government finance, the subject of the “Special Analysis” section of the Index

Read the Index, news release, and other materials here.

Special Analysis: Silicon Valley’s recovery slowed by local government budget woes

Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO & President Emmett D. Carson, with whom Joint Venture co-publishes the Index, spoke to the audience in depth about the precarious road ahead for Silicon Valley cities and counties as public revenue drops and the demand for services climbs. “These are structural problems, that were masked by a growing economy. Now there’s no escape. We need to ask ourselves what kind of government we want, what we can afford, and what we must leave behind.”

Click here to read the Mercury News editorial about the Index and Special Analysis.

Silicon Valley and the Future of Innovation

In a morning panel on the future of innovation for Silicon Valley, Navin Chaddha of the Mayfield Fund, Judy Estrin of JLabs and economic consultant Jon Haveman explored what it will take our region to continue as the epicenter of innovation and entrepreneurship given its challenges. Mercury News business and technology columnist Chris O’Brien moderated the discussion.

21st Century Regionalism: New Silicon Valley Models for the New Normal

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock and Accenture North America managing director David Wilson unveiled a new report providing 70 case studies of cross-jurisdictional collaboration through the US and Asia, and how those models are bringing new efficiencies and better service delivery to their localities. Mr. Wilson also showed the cost savings that could theoretically be accrued if Silicon Valley cities entered into similar shared service agreements.

Hancock then posed a provocative question: could collaborations such as these lay the foundation for a new form of regional planning and decision-making? At the same time, he announced a generous grant from the Ford Foundation has enabled Joint Venture to organize a two-day retreat for Silicon Valley mayors, city managers and other officials to meet and discuss that possibility.

Download the report Accenture completed for Joint Venture here.

2011 Packard Award: Aart de Geus, Synopsys

Joint Venture bestowed its highest honor, the Packard Award for Civic Entrepreneurship, on Aart de Geus, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Synopsys. Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, entertained the audience with biographical information from Mr. de Geus’ life and detailed his numerous civic contributions. Then, the officers of Joint Venture placed the Packard medallion around his neck and de Geus made poignant acceptance remarks.

Click here to read more about Aart de Geus.

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