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Capacity crowd for annual State of the Valley conference


More than 1300 business, government, academic, labor and community leaders and interested citizens packed Joint Venture’s annual State of the Valley conference in San Jose last month.

The gathering heard from keynote speakers David Brooks of the New York Times and Professor Stephen Goldsmith of Harvard University, along with updates on the regional economy, the latest trends in digital technology in government and the future of the automobile and bicycling in Silicon Valley.

They also saw Netflix CEO Reed Hastings receive the David Packard Award, heard musical entertainment from local school bands and browsed the Exhibitors Showcase of regional nonprofit organizations and other businesses.

Watch a video overview.


Russ speaking

The conference began as always with Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock’s comprehensive briefing on the 2017 Silicon Valley Index, produced by Joint Venture’s Institute for Regional Studies. The report shows the region’s economy has chalked up seven straight years of growth that continues to burden housing, transportation and lower earning households.

Watch the video.

Read the Mercury News coverage of the Index.

Download the Index.


Brooks speaking

David Brooks, the award-winning New York Times columnist and best-selling author, captured the crowd with his remarks on America’s future under the new administration in Washington, D.C. and what Silicon Valley can expect.

“Silicon Valley stands for disruption and innovation,” said Brooks. “And in Brexit, in France and across the world, there are movements that stand against those things, for going back toward security over innovation. It’s been an astonishingly strong movement in the beginning of the 21st century. It’s an ideological movement that’s going to want to tie down some of the innovative and disruptive forces in the economy.”

Watch Brooks’ keynote.

Goldsmith speaking

Stephen Goldsmith, Harvard School of Government professor and former New York City deputy mayor, spoke on the way “smart” cities and regions are reshaping governance in the digital age.

“There are some really serious issues about privacy” as cities and regions move more toward modernizing procedures by using technology, said Goldsmith. “And the way to deal with that is through transparency. People need to know what the rules are, who gets access to the data, where is it published – some serious work is required.”

Watch Goldsmith’s keynote.

Tumlin speaking

Jeffrey Tumlin, a national expert in transportation planning and sustainable mobility, outlined a plan for Silicon Valley to become a national leader for bicycle commuting, as detailed in a new report, “Silicon Valley Bike Vision,” from Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, in partnership with Tumlin’s firm, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.

Watch Tumlin’s remarks.

Download the report.

Read the Silicon Valley Business Journal coverage.


Making Silicon Valley America’s Smartest Region

panel 1 seated on stage

Following Professor Goldsmith’s remarks, a panel of experts from business, government and academia – Dan’l Lewin (Microsoft), Shireen Santosham (City of San Jose) and Jan Whittington (University of Washington) – probed what it will take for Silicon Valley to become a pioneering example of a “smart” region. Joint Venture’s David Witkowski moderated the discussion.

Watch the panel video.

Watch Viodi TV coverage.

Silicon Valley and the Future of the Automobile

panel 2 seated on stage

Jeffrey Tumlin’s address was followed by a probing panel discussion on the ways technology and innovation are disrupting and redefining the auto industry. Moderated by Stanford's Sven Beiker, the panelists were Michael Uhl (McKinsey & Co.), Patrick Brady (Google), Sahas Katta (Smartcar), Brook Porter (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC), and Pasquale Romano (ChargePoint, Inc.)

Watch the video.

Read the Mercury News coverage.


Hastings accepting award

The 2017 David Packard Award, Joint Venture’s highest honor, was presented to Netflix co-founder and education philanthropist Reed Hastings. Ron Gonzales, a former San Jose Mayor and Joint Venture board co-chair, made the introduction.

Read Gonzales’ remarks.

Watch award presentation.


collage of images from event

The conference also featured musical entertainment from local schools and the Exhibitors Showcase of regional nonprofit organizations supporting the environment, education, transportation and workforce development.

Joint Venture thanks Microsoft, the lead sponsor for State of the Valley, and presenting sponsors Accenture, Applied Materials, Google, Wells Fargo and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides analysis and action on issues affecting our region's economy and quality of life.

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