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Silicon Valley Index to expand in new partnership

Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network team up to produce key regional report and State of the Valley Conference

Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network–organizations sharing a mission to enhance the health and vitality of the region–Monday announced a partnership to expand and enhance the Silicon Valley Index, a nationally recognized report that measures the strength of the economy and the health of the community.

The community foundation also will become lead sponsor of Joint Venture’s State of the Valley conference, the town hall-style meeting that brings together leaders from across the region and included a keynote this year by former Vice President Al Gore.

The organizations’ boards of directors, in separate meetings, approved a memorandum of understanding last week that provides details of the agreement, which will begin this year.

“We see this as a highly promising partnership between two organizations that have every reason to collaborate,” said Harry Kellogg of Silicon Valley Bank and co-chair of the Joint Venture board. Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss, Joint Venture’s other co-chair continued: “The real winner in this partnership is Silicon Valley, because now the region’s most broadly-based organizations bring their collective strength to the way we measure progress and assess needs.”

“Identifying smart solutions to meet pressing needs was a key goal underlying the creation of Silicon Valley Community Foundation this year,” said Greg Avis, board chair of the community foundation. “Teaming up with Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Index will help add a crucial new element to the community foundation’s work to identify challenges and solutions to the challenges facing our region.”

Joint Venture has published the Silicon Valley Index annually since 1995. The community foundation, created on Jan. 1, 2007 by the merger of Community Foundation Silicon Valley and Peninsula Community Foundation, will now work with Joint Venture to grow the influential study. The community foundation’s investment will be $100,000 in the first year and $150,000 in subsequent years.

The Index will become a joint product of the two organizations. It describes the performance of the region’s economy and overall health of the community, and provides a fact base for regional leadership and decision-making. Its bellwether indicators reflect the fundamentals of long-term regional health and the community’s interests and concerns.

The partnership will enhance the Index and heighten its impact considerably by:

  • broadening the scope of analysis, increasing the number of indicators and enlarging the size of the document
  • enabling comparisons to other regions, nationally and internationally
  • creating a sophisticated web presence
  • enabling on-line users to access the underlying data and link to the sources
  • presenting additional forums throughout the region to engage additional audiences in the findings

The partnership will begin in 2008 and continue through 2013, at which time the organizations will evaluate whether to renew the agreement.

The indicators have been presented in five broad groupings: people, economy, society, place and governance. They are chosen by a team of advisors. More than half of these indicators recur annually, allowing for systematic tracking over time. The remaining indicators are chosen for their ability to illuminate a subject of timely or topical interest.

The Index has been presented each year since 2005 at Joint Venture’s State of the Valley Conference. In addition to a briefing on the Index, the conference features speeches by the region’s thought leaders, panel discussions, breakout sessions, exhibits and displays, and performances by arts groups. Joint Venture will continue to produce the conference, and the community foundation will invest at least $50,000 annually and be presented as “lead sponsor.”

“This agreement strengthens both partners,” said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture president and CEO. “It also leverages our unique strengths to provides the region a deeper analytical foundation for decision making, and a better platform to launch projects.”

“The Silicon Valley Index and State of the Valley Conference mesh nicely with the community foundation’s commitment to serve as an information resource and strengthen civic engagement,” said community foundation CEO and President Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D. “The Index and conference are unequaled in the knowledge and opportunities they provide for our region, and we’re excited to team up with Joint Venture to take these resources to an even greater level of influence and illumination.”

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The merger of Community Foundation Silicon Valley and Peninsula Community Foundation took effect on January 1, 2007, creating Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to the region’s most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the new community foundation is among the largest community foundations in the nation, with more than $1.9 billion in assets under management and 1,500 philanthropic funds. In a region known for innovation in business and technology as well as philanthropy, the new community foundation will address local needs and support Silicon Valley’s charitable giving to causes locally, nationally and around the globe. The integration marks the first merger of equals involving two of the country’s leading community foundations and sets a new precedent in the philanthropic sector. Find out more at

About Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects and work toward innovative solutions.

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