California Summit Review: An Action Plan for Growth and Innovation
Matt Horton, Carlo De La Cruz, Carolyn Karo, and Rebecca Simon with Jason Barrett and Kevin Klowden
The theme of the Milken Institute’s fifth annual California Summit, “Preparing for an Innovative Future,” showcased the Golden State’s continuing role as the epicenter of American innovation while highlighting the policies or practices leaders should embrace to propel economic growth. California’s GDP has risen to the sixth largest in the world, due to robust job growth, innovation and entrepreneurship clusters, and expanding trade and foreign direct investment. Yet challenges persist related to the state’s business climate and inadequate investment in human capital and infrastructure, as well as continued drought and energy concerns. At the national level, the benefits of global trade have been called into question and funding support for California infrastructure is uncertain, threatening our state’s long-term economic foundation.
The topics at the 2016 Summit ranged from the state’s business climate, infrastructure, and trade to innovation, education, and human capital. Speakers and other participants offered an array of insights into leveraging California’s trademark early-investment approach to address these systemic issues. The Summit hosted a variety of vibrant discussions concerning the role of civic leadership in stimulating growth through innovative urban policies. Participants delved into how to use California’s business infrastructure to incubate innovation and expand the job base through trade and foreign investment. Strategic investment, transformative ideas, and global impact were at the center of the day’s agenda.