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In this issue:

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Joint Venture Proposes Sweeping New Education Initiative

Joint Venture is poised to launch a new education initiative that would provide intensive professional development for Silicon Valley’s K-12 teaching force. The goal is to make a dramatic difference in student achievement, and Joint Venture is acting on the belief that quality teaching is the variable that matters most.

“We have been challenged by Silicon Valley’s most prominent leaders and thinkers to create something revolutionary, something wholly transformative, something that shows Silicon Valley is acting on a new set of priorities elevating the status of teaching and driving sustained improvements in student outcomes,” said Joint Venture President Russell Hancock in describing the proposal to the board of directors at its quarterly meeting on June 15.

Quality public education in Silicon Valley is one of Joint Venture’s core objectives, and student achievement is directly linked to the quality of teaching. Yet teachers don’t have a single, comprehensive source of professional development to provide, in Hancock’s words, “classroom support, curriculum development, intensified subject-matter training, enrichment, mentoring, increased certification, a peer network, and systematic feedback.”

Joint Venture is now forming a blue ribbon panel to define how the initiative will take shape, and is seeking seed money to recruit an experienced professional for the Joint Venture staff to act as co-ordinator.

To share your thoughts, volunteer your time or offer financial support, click here to send an e-mail to Joint Venture President Russell Hancock.

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El Camino Initiative Gets $300,000 Grant From State

Grand Boulevard, a collaboration linking all 19 cities on El Camino Real between San Francisco to San Jose, has won a $300,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation.

The Caltrans grant will support a “Multimodal Transportation Corridor Plan” involving the Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara County (VTA) and SamTrans in San Mateo County. The two agencies will look for ways to make traveling on El Camino more efficient—everything from synchronized traffic lights to additional turn lanes to allowing each agency to run buses the entire length of El Camino, instead of terminating at the county line as they do now.

The Grand Boulevard initiative is led by Joint Venture, VTA, SamTrans and the San Mateo County Economic Development Agency. Beyond transportation, the 47 members of Grand Boulevard—including elected officials, housing advocates, developers, retailers, environmentalists, and transportation officials—are looking at a wide range of issues such as housing, land use, pedestrian improvements and the retail landscape.

Click here to learn more about Grand Boulevard.

Joint Venture Board Appoints Four New Directors

Joint Venture has added a CEO, a college president, a high-profile attorney, and the managing director of a global consulting firm to its board of directors. The new directors are:

  • Joe Head, President & CEO of Summerhill Homes
  • Timothy Haight, President of Menlo College
  • Chris DiGiorgio, Managing Director for Northern California at Accenture Inc.
  • Daniel Yost, Partner in Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP

“These four leaders bring extraordinary horsepower to the Joint Venture board,” said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture’s president. “We are doubly fortunate, first of all because of their depth of experience, but second because of the remarkable breadth they bring to our organization.”

Click here to learn more about the four new directors.

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Fellows Program Launches with SJSU Professor

Joint Venture has inaugurated a “Fellows” program, which will allow senior scholars to take up residence at Joint Venture’s offices in downtown San Jose. The fellows will pursue research in Joint Venture project areas, writing for publication in academic journals and also preparing reports for Joint Venture’s leadership and subscriber base.

The first Fellow is Asbjorn Osland, a professor of business at San Jose State University. Osland teaches courses on business approaches to environmental sustainability, and he will work on Joint Venture’s new climate protection initiative. One of Osland’s goals during his fellowship is to write a white paper on how Silicon Valley can provide global leadership in resolving climate issues.

Click here to learn more about Professor Osland and the Fellows Program.

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Joint Venture Spotlight

Meet Harry Kellogg, Joint Venture Co-Chair

Harry Kellogg

Harry Kellogg, co-chair of Joint Venture’s board of directors, is a venture capitalist and banker at SVB Financial Group who sits at the epicenter of deal-making in Silicon Valley. Kellogg has a proven track record—he got Cisco its first $50,000 line of credit, and the company is still an SVB customer—and he continues to back new ideas, including recent forays into life sciences and clean technology. Equally important, he cares about civic entrepreneurship.

Click here to read the full profile of Harry Kellogg.

Joint Venture-
Commonwealth Club Series Kicks Off with Call for Health-Care Reform

On June 20, the first in a series of programs sponsored by Joint Venture and the Commonwealth Club brought Dr. David Brailer to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto. Brailer, who recently departed the Bush administration after serving as the first National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, called for consumer empowerment to disrupt the medical system and force change.

“For over ten years, we have known that 100,000 people die each year because of medical errors, and over two million are injured, yet we have done nothing about it,” Brailer said. “If the cause were airplanes falling from the sky, I guarantee you we would have fixed it.”

Joint Venture is working to solve at least part of the problem through its Smart Health initiative, with the goal of reducing both medical errors and administrative costs by creating electronic medical records that can be easily shared among health-care providers.

Click here to listen to Dr. Brailer’s complete speech.