2017 Ideas Summit Recap

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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:

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Lt. Gov. Newsom called for practical ways to address the growing gap between 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."

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 Senator Warner offered ideas about adapting to the new economy, including around 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. 

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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.

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“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 in to the outcome priorities you care about and your contracting.”

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 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.”

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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.”


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