2017 Ideas Summit

Politico says “NewDEAL Democrats are rising” after this week’s Ideas Summit in San Francisco where about 30 pro-growth progressive state and local NewDEAL leaders came together with other innovative voices in the private sector, non-profit world, and government. Thank you to everyone who participated in two days of in-depth discussions about harnessing the impact of technology to spur innovation, improve government services, and, most importantly, create broadly shared economic growth.

Check out this story on remarks about our changing economy by NewDEAL Honorary Vice-Chair and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom as well as Honorary Co-chair Senator Mark Warner, who offered an alternative to popular approaches to addressing economic anxiety that he said too often call on us to go backward and “don’t fit the bill.”

If you were unable to join us for the Summit, here are a few highlights:

Lt. Gov. Newsom called for practical ways to address the growing gap between the haves and have nots, saying “Growth and inclusion is the issue of our time. We have got to step up in a meaningful way and recognize the way technology is changing the nature of our work.”

Senator Warner offered ideas about adapting to the new economy, including supporting portable benefits, improving skills training, and addressing corporate short-termism that is damaging our capitalist system. “Democrats have always been at our best when we have been a forward-leaning party. The American people are tough enough to take the facts about the changing economy, but they need people who are willing to be straight with them on the answers and the solutions. And I think a lot of those answers and solutions will start here with NewDEAL Democrats.”

Other highlights included small group discussions on ideas for issues ranging from regulating emerging technologies to building more affordable housing to addressing the future of work, as well as panels on major questions for state and local officials to tackle.

During a panel on fostering entrepreneurship, we heard from NewDEAL Leader Libby Schaaf, the Mayor of Oakland, who has led a public-private partnership with Kiva to provide 0% interest crowdfunded loans to hundreds of small businesses, and has worked to support the city’s diverse entrepreneurs by allowing most businesses to get their necessary local permits online in 24 hours.

“There’s an opportunity to create a conversation around outcomes and to make your data and technology systems connect to how you spend your money,” said Caroline Whistler, CEO and Co-Founder of Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. during a discussion on transforming government. “People talk a lot about connecting data sets across different parts of their communities. Ask ‘for what?’ and make sure it’s going to be tied back into the outcome priorities you care about and your contracting.”

In addressing the new political landscape, Congressman Ami Bera called for his Party to be about more than “we are not Donald Trump,” saying Democrats need to focus on Americans’ aspirational goals, like how they can send their kids to college or take care of their elderly parents. “We have to be talking about how we are going to help them in their daily lives.”

In wrapping up the Summit during a panel of innovative CEO’s, Co-Founder and Chair of Aspiration Joe Sanberg said, “There needs to be bigger recognition of repairing the basic social contract. It should be, if you work, you enjoy financial dignity. There’s a race in politics that’s on to see who can figure out how to fix that social contract first. Whichever movement can fix that social contract is going to be the majority governing movement in the future.”

2017 Summit Breakouts

Session One, Wednesday 10 – 11:15 am

Fostering Entrepreneurship (Personal – Couch Area)

The health of small businesses and the opportunity to grow new companies are key drivers of our economy. Small firms create the majority of jobs and play a key role in innovation, producing 16 times more patents per worker than large firms. Led by Santa Cruz Supervisor Ryan Coonerty and Engine’s Evan Engstrom, this session will cover perspectives from the private and public sectors on ways in which government can help people start and expand businesses.

Making Housing Affordable (Tagalog)

A New York Times Magazine headline recently proclaimed that homeownership has become “the engine of American inequality” because of the lack of affordable housing for many workers and their families across the country. This session will provide an opportunity to explore state and local policies that are working to provide stable housing, combat homelessness, and revitalize neighborhoods. Leading the conversation, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will talk about her city’s ambitious efforts to tackle this issue, including her Housing Incentives Pilot Program, and SPUR’s Kristy Wang will talk about how the Bay Area is responding to similar challenges.

Preparing Workers for the Future of Work (Scrapbooking)

The new economy is not only requiring new skill sets to succeed in old industries, from manufacturing to journalism but is also creating entirely new industries that involve completely different ways to think about the concept of work, including “on-demand” work. Led by Todd Rufo, Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and Arkansas Representative Warwick Sabin, this session will focus on how different jurisdictions are approaching these changes, with an emphasis on workforce training and skills for the 21st century.

Building Global Communities (Astrology)

Despite anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy proposals from the Trump Administration, immigration has been a tremendous driver of prosperity and growth for the United States. While the federal government has jurisdiction over major immigration issues, state and local officials have opportunities to support immigrant populations and to ensure their communities are welcoming for talented people, wherever their place of birth. Join a discussion about those opportunities with Mark Ranneberger from Fwd.us, Laura Capps from the National Immigration Forum, and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Increasing Voter Turnout (Engraving)

Voting is among the most fundamental rights in our democracy and among the most important civic responsibilities of citizens, yet voter turnout in elections is often disturbingly low and we have seen states across the country enact policies that make it harder to vote. This session will explore ways for state and local leaders to address these trends and support efforts that encourage, rather than discourage, more people to participate. The discussion will be co-led by Let America Vote Executive Director Abe Rakov and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who has been traveling his state to promote his pre-registration initiative for 16- and 17-year olds.

Session Two, Wednesday 11:30 – 12:45 am

Combatting the Opioid Crisis (Astrology)

The opioid addiction epidemic has ravaged families and communities across the country, without any discrimination of who is victimized. This crisis has huge implications for a vast range of public policy, including public health, criminal justice, and education. Join Palm Beach County FL State’s Attorney Dave Aronberg and Founder of 17a Annie Rittgers for a discussion on the role policymakers and technology can play in addressing the opioid epidemic.

Modernizing the Safety Net (Spanish)

With the nature of work changing dramatically, there has never been a more important time to modernize America’s safety net for workers and families. Join Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read and Small Business Majority’s John Arensmeyer to discuss ideas for strengthening the social safety net from the 21st century from encouraging retirement savings to implementing family leave policies.

Regulating Emerging Technologies (Scrapbooking)

As we have seen repeatedly in the digital age, new technology has the potential to vastly improve our quality of life and create countless new jobs. Government has the opportunity to encourage these improvements, but also a responsibility to ensure the public’s safety and security as the way they buy and receive services changes dramatically. In this session, CALinnovates’ Kish Rajan, Postmates’ Vikrum Aiyer, and Colorado Representative Jeff Bridges will lead a conversation about how different states and localities are approaching a new regulatory framework for emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, ridesharing, and Airbnb.

Smart Communities (Personal – Couch Area)

Across the nation, cities and metro regions are working to better collect, aggregate, and use data to improve government services. Microsoft’s Mariko Davidson and Charles Belle of SFTechDems will focus on how digital tools can help governments better deliver key services and empower citizens, and how some leaders are finding ways to harness these tools effectively.

Looking Around the Corner: Tech Trends of the Future (Engraving)

The digital revolution has transformed every part of society and the one constant about the technologies we use has been changing. Join Maryland State Delegate Andrew Platt and a representative from the venture capital industry, to hear about new trends in technology, as well as what to expect next, and to discuss the impact of public policies on encouraging innovations that have profound effects on quality of life in the digital age.

2017 Summit Speakers

2017 Summit Location

Tuesday’s events will be hosted by Microsoft at LinkedIn San Francisco, at 222 2nd Street, San Francisco, in the Focus Room.

Microsoft recommends using BART (Montgomery Station is 2 blocks away), Caltrain (15-20 minute walk), or ride-share/taxi so parking won’t be necessary, as the parking beneath the building often fills by 11 am as do some lots around the building. If being driven, the alley behind the office on Tehama is likely the best place for drop-off.

Wednesday’s events will be hosted by Thumbtack at 1355 Market Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, in the Agora Room.

Special thanks to our event hosts, Microsoft at LinkedIn and Thumbtack!

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.  Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.  With more than 500M Members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network with members in over 200 countries and territories.

Thumbtack is the app that finds you local professionals for any project. A contractor, a DJ, anyone. It instantly shows you available businesses and how much they’ll cost. Through Thumbtack, millions of customers are completing projects and more than 250,000 pros in 1,000’s of categories are collectively generating more than $1 billion in annual business — across all 50 states. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack is backed by Sequoia Capital, Google Capital, Tiger Global Management, Javelin Investment Partners, and Baillie Gifford.