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Michael Mandelbaum among keynote speakers at
2012 State of the Valley conference

Michael Mandelbaum

Michael Mandelbaum, one of America’s leading authorities on international affairs and co-author with Thomas Friedman of That Used to Be Us, will be a keynote speaker at Joint Venture’s 2012 State of the Valley conference on Friday, February 10.

Named one of the “Top Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine, Mandelbaum’s latest effort has been called “a book of exceptional importance” by Library Journal, a book that “should be read by every American concerned about our country's future.”

State of the Valley, Silicon Valley’s annual "town meeting,” convenes the entire region—concerned citizens and stakeholders, thought leaders and opinion makers, journalists, our elected representatives, educators and academics, business executives, labor and workforce leaders—for dialogue and discussion about the Valley’s challenges and opportunities.

In addition to Mandelbaum, the conference will feature speakers and panels on jobs and competitiveness, and about Silicon Valley’s role in leading America to a new energy future. Be sure to save the date (February 10), and watch this space for more announcements soon.

Click here to watch Mandelbaum on Charlie Rose.

For a recap of the 2011 State of the Valley conference, click here.

Santa Clara launches online building permits


The City of Santa Clara recently introduced online building permit applications, streamlining the process and helping to create a more sustainable environment. This milestone was reached after years of work by city staff, including participation in Joint Venture’s original Smart Permit workgroup and collaboration with the Sustainable Buildings Initiative on a pilot in 2009.

“The online service is significant not just because of the increased convenience factor, especially for larger building projects that require multiple permits and multiple inspections,” said city building official Sheila Lee. “It also supports the city’s environmental goals by reducing the number of vehicle trips made to City Hall and the printing of drawings.”

Lee said the city has processed dozens of permits since launching the service.

To learn more about online permitting in Santa Clara, click here.

Joint Venture board elects Mohammad Qayoumi,
Bill Sherry

Mohammad Qayoumi and Bill Sherry

San Jose State University president Mohammad Qayoumi and Mineta San Jose International Airport director Bill Sherry were elected to the Joint Venture board of directors at its quarterly meeting on September 16.

Dr. Qayoumi was president of Cal State East Bay from 2006 until joining SJSU on July 1, and previously served as vice president for administration and finance at CSU Northridge for six years.

Sherry has been director of aviation at San Jose Airport since 2005, leading the $13 billion modernization program. In March of this year, he was named concurrently to be president of the San Jose Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and CEO for Team San Jose.

Read the complete news release here.

Joint Venture exploring schools sustainability project

School with solar panels

Joint Venture has launched an exploratory initiative that would help Silicon Valley schools to achieve cost savings through collaboration on sustainability programs, and has tapped clean tech business development expert Carol Schmitt to head the effort.

Joint Venture will be working in partnership with the superintendents of schools for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties on operational and administrative issues associated with sustainability, climate change and cutting costs or raising funds that benefit administration, students and communities.

Schmitt, a serial entrepreneur with 25 years experience in market development and the Los Gatos Union School District Volunteer of the Year, will oversee the Sustainable Schools Task Force.

Click here to read more about Carol.

October on “Inside Silicon Valley”

Inside Silicon Valley

October guests on “Inside Silicon Valley,” Joint Venture’s weekly public affairs radio program on 1590 KLIV, include Silicon Valley Leadership Group housing vice president Shiloh Ballard, Santa Clara County assessor Larry Stone, veteran city manager Mike Garvey, Mercury News columnist Chris O’Brien and VTA general manager Michael Burns.

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock hosts the hour-long program, which airs every Friday at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at noon on 1590 KLIV.

Click here to listen to podcasts of previous programs.

Book of the Month: That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

Book cover: That Used To Be Us

In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of the nation’s most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, who will keynote the 2012 State of the Valley conference, offer a wake-up call and urge immediate action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world.

Click here to read the New York Times review of the book.

Our October Spotlight
SunPower Corporation and Joint Venture board member

Bobby Ram

Some people in Silicon Valley tend to toss the word “passion” around disingenuously, but Bobby Ram isn’t one of them.

In an hour’s conversation about his long career with SunPower Corporation and the potential of solar energy to change our lives and our world, Ram used the term at least a dozen times and he meant it every time.

That’s understandable when you learn that his inspiration comes from growing up in the Fijian Islands among a family of fifteen living in a two-room bure, a wood-and-straw hut with a thatched roof – and no electricity.

To read his full profile, click here.


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Joint Venture's initiatives, publications, events and regional expertise receive frequent coverage in the national and local news media. Our staff is always available to comment on economic trends in Silicon Valley.

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