More than 1200 business, government and community leaders converged at Joint Venture’s annual State of the Valley Conference on February 10.

The daylong event featured keynotes, panels and dialogue on the findings in the 2012 Silicon Valley Index about our economy, the fiscal challenges facing local government, the greening of America’s cities and the state of arts and culture in Silicon Valley.

We are indebted to our friends at PRx Communication Strategists
for producing this excellent video that sums up the high points of the day.

We are also profoundly grateful to our lead sponsor Silicon Valley Community Foundation, presenting sponsors Accenture, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente and PG&E, all of our gold, silver, bronze and copper sponsors and our hotel and media sponsors for their vital support of State of the Valley.

Click here for State of the Valley news coverage in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, AP, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, other newspapers and on radio and TV.

Here is a recap of the day:

Silicon Valley Index: Recovery is Underway, but Slowed by Local Government Fiscal Crisis

Russell Hancock

In his briefing on the78-page Index, Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock observed that Silicon Valley was last to succumb to the national recession, and now appears to be the first to emerge. He explained the growth is fueled by certain key tech sectors that are spawning new companies and creating jobs (42,000 over the past 12 months).

Yet Hancock also pointed out that, for a variety of reasons, a boom in the tech sector is no longer a tide that lifts all boats, and that even a stunning economic recovery would not solve the fiscal crisis facing local government.

Click here to download a PDF of the complete report, which is published jointly by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Joint Venture.

Special Analysis: Proposition 13's Impact on Silicon Valley

This year’s Special Analysis section of the Index delves deeply into Proposition 13 and the impact the 1978 property tax law is having on our region. The fourteen-page analysis that begins on page 8 of the Index chronicles the direct and indirect consequences of the law and urges an open dialogue about reform.

Emmett D. Carson

Community Foundation CEO Emmett Carson presented an overview of the report, explaining that the era of rising property tax revenues came to a halt in 2008 and that the gains in assessed home values were likely to continue at low levels for many years. He was followed by a panel discussion that included former state senator Bruce McPherson, Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy and Lenny Goldberg of the California Tax Reform Association.

Click here to read the San Jose Mercury News’ editorial written in response to the report.

Click here to read a guest editorial about Proposition 13 in the San Francisco Chronicle by Emmett Carson and Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock.

Click here to read news coverage of the panel discussion.

Mayor Richard M. Daley: The Greening of America’s Metropolitan Regions

In a morning keynote the Hon. Richard M. Daley, who served as Chicago’s mayor for 22 years, talked about the way he led Chicago’s transformation from a gritty industrial zone to a landscape of smart green buildings and appealing open spaces. He urged community leaders to think big and to think differently, and urged government to lead by example, and not solely by mandate.

After his remarks, Mayor Daley took part in a panel discussion about Silicon Valley’s role in America’s green imperative with San Jose Mayor and Joint Venture Co-Chair Chuck Reed and Jim Sweeney of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.

Click here to listen to Mayor Daley’s keynote remarks.

Click here to read press accounts of the panel discussion.

Michael Mandelbaum: How Silicon Valley Can Lead America Back

Johns Hopkins professor and author Michael Mandelbaum, delved deeply into the major problems confronting America, including the ways globalization and the IT revolution have merged into a force disrupting U.S. job markets, the sclerosis preventing the U.S. from moving ahead on the energy front, and political gridlock.

Mandelbaum’s prescriptions — ranging from immigration reform, fixing the education system, and even promoting third-party presidential candidates — include a strident role for SiliconValley, which he described as entering into a “golden age” of innovation.

Click here to listen to Michael Mandelbaum’s keynote address.

Steve Bridges: Bush, Clinton, Obama, Arnold All in One

Joint Venture invited Presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama to appear at State of the Valley and got all three, plus former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the persona of comedian Steve Bridges. Switching seamlessly from one to the next, the Impersonator-in-Chief broke up the crowd with his uncanny impressions.

Click here to see videos of Bridges at his best.

Arts, Culture and Creativity in Silicon Valley

In a morning panel on the state of our region’s arts and culture, Joel Slayton of Zero1, Connie Martinez of First Act Silicon Valley and Tanuja Bahal of the India Community Center, observed that Silicon Valley doesn’t yet meet its full potential. Though our region is fabled for its dynamism, and though we have cultural assets that others envy, these traits haven’t yet translated into a clear advantage in the realm of architecture, urban design, the philanthropy supporting local arts, nor the ways technology can be tied to artistic expression.

Click here to read news coverage of the arts panel.

David Packard Award Touches John A. Sobrato

John Sobrato

The presentation of the David Packard Award, Joint Venture’s highest honor, to John A. Sobrato was a moving tribute to the iconic Silicon Valley real estate developer, community leader and philanthropist.

Visibly affected by Valley Medical Foundation executive director Chris Wilder’s warm introduction and applause from the packed house at the McEnery Convention Center, Sobrato twice paused to collect himself while accepting the award. He credited his family and colleagues at the Sobrato Organization and the Sobrato Family Foundation for their roles in the Sobratos’ contributions to the region.

Click here to read Chris Wilder’s presentation.



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