2021 State of the Valley Program

Program at a Glance

Day 1: February 23, 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

Day 2: February 24, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Detailed Program

Day 1: February 23, 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

9:00 AM


The Index has been telling the Silicon Valley story since 1995. The indicators measure the dynamism of our economy and the health of our community, highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for decision making. The 2021 Index chronicles a new chapter in Silicon Valley’s unfolding history and assesses the ravaging effects of the pandemic.

  • Russell Hancock
    President & Chief Executive Officer, Joint Venture Silicon Valley
    President, Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

Presented by Stanford Children’s Health

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9:55 AM

BREAK: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus

10:00 AM


How do we make Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem more diverse and inclusive? How do we create opportunities for low-income communities and people of color? How do we fix leaks at every stage of the pipeline, from K-12 education to workplace hiring? How do we eliminate bias and address the structural barriers to underrepresented talent?

Freada Kapor Klein is a long-time crusader for diversity and inclusion in the Bay Area and beyond, and an investor in seed-stage start-ups creating positive social impact. Shellye Archambeau is a pioneering woman who has risen to Silicon Valley’s highest echelons. After pointed remarks, Ms. Klein and Ms. Archambeau will engage in a hard-hitting dialogue about how Silicon Valley can do more and better.

  • Shellye Archambeau
    Former Chief Executive Officer, MetricStream
  • Freada Kapor Klein
    Founder, Kapor Capital & The Kapor Center
  • Moderator: Dan'l Lewin

Presented by Bank of America

This session is also presented as a special collaboration with the Computer History Museum.

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10:40 AM

BREAK: Local Color San Jose

10:45 AM

Silicon Valley and the battle for the planet

“I feel like the climate scientists have done their job,” said NASA scientist Peter Kalmus in the New York Times last month. “We’ve laid it out pretty clearly, but nobody’s doing anything. So now it feels like it’s up to the scientists.”

Professor Sally Benson is one such scientist, leading a world-leading program of energy research from her post at Stanford. In the wake of epic wildfires and other extreme events, Professor Benson will assess the current state of the planet and reflect on the critical role she thinks Silicon Valley must play in the contest for our future.

  • Sally M. Benson
    Precourt Family Professor & Director, Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University
  • Moderator: Mark Bauhaus

Presented by Applied Materials

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11:20 AM

BREAK: San Francisco Jazz

11:25 AM


When the sheltering guidelines took hold, our foreclosed driving dramatically reduced our carbon footprint. With the planet hanging in the balance, can Silicon Valley hold on to those crucial air quality gains? When the pandemic subsides, can we still reduce our miles of travel and shift to clean transportation alternatives?

Immediately prior to the COVID lockdown a detailed survey probing Silicon Valley attitudes toward transportation was placed in the field. Transportation experts Shiloh Ballard and Kevin Fang will review the results of that survey, weigh it against our current behavior, and reflect on the possibilities in a post-pandemic world.

  • Shiloh Ballard
    Executive Director, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition
  • Kevin Fang
    Assistant Professor, Sonoma State University and Mineta Transportation Institute

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12:00 Noon


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Day 2: February 24, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

1:00 PM


When the pandemic set in, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo convened 60 Silicon Valley leaders to chart a path to economic recovery. The group forwarded a sweeping set of recommendations, including a fresh look at social safety net services, ways to spur new job creation for displaced workers, and addressing the digital divide.

Organizations across the region have moved into action, by forming alliances and new coalitions, providing life-sustaining services, mobilizing employers, and laying out new strategies for those most impacted.

In this session Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock will provide a briefing on the recovery effort to date. He will be joined by two of the major figures in that effort, Mayor Liccardo and Silicon Valley Community Foundation CEO Nicole Taylor.

  • Hon. Sam Liccardo
    Mayor, City of San Jose
  • Nicole Taylor
    Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Russell Hancock
    President & Chief Executive Officer, Joint Venture Silicon Valley

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1:30 PM

BREAK: Peninsula Symphony

1:35 PM


Dr. Sara Cody skyrocketed to national prominence when her department mandated the first outright closures of public gatherings, and the earliest sheltering-in-place orders. Her strident leadership is credited with saving countless thousands of lives.

In this session Dr. Cody will assess Silicon Valley’s current state of health with respect to COVID-19, discuss the rollout of the vaccine, and chart the future. With the help of a moderator, Dr. Cody will also reflect personally on the journey this has been for her and her family.

  • Dr. Sara Cody
    County Health Officer, Santa Clara County

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente logo

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2:10 PM

BREAK: Opera San Jose

2:15 PM


When the pandemic is finally behind us, will our work lives simply resume? Will we return to our former offices? Or will there be less demand for commercial space, and new hybrid models for the workplace that incorporate new practices, new protocols and new technologies?

Ben Tranel is considered a thought leader among architects, and his portfolio includes high-profile Silicon Valley projects such as San Jose’s CityView Plaza. Fully abreast of real estate trends in a rapidly transforming world, Mr. Tranel will assess Silicon Valley’s evolving space needs and preview some of the newly emerging design trends.

  • Ben Tranel
    Principal, Gensler

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3:00 PM

BREAK: San Jose Jazz High School All Stars

3:05 PM

Keynote Presentation

Julián Castro has spent a lifetime shattering barriers and defying expectations. At a time when most consider politics to be moribund, he transformed San Antonio as mayor. Despite most people considering Washington to be a synonym for gridlock, he brought strident leadership to HUD as the youngest serving member in President Obama’s cabinet. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, he pursued a life of activism, went on to attend Stanford and Harvard, and ran for President of the United States.

Can Mr. Castro’s personal story be a template for Silicon Valley’s rising generation, particularly those who are underrepresented in the tech ecosystem and in public life? Can Silicon Valley build a more just society and show the nation a path to do the same? In wide-ranging personal reflections, Mr. Castro will share his views about the current Washington scene, the role Silicon Valley can play in addressing the nation’s woes, and more.

  • Julián Castro
    16th United States Secretary of Housing & Urban Development

Presented by Accenture

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4:00 PM


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