SAN JOSÉ, CA (October 29, 2021) — California Governor Gavin Newsom today spoke to the Administration’s bold plans to shore up the Golden State’s innovation economy and create greater shared economic value for all Californians at the 2021 Annual Forum, presented by Amazon. While touting the state’s historic investments of more than $100 billion in recovery and rebuilding efforts, Governor Newsom also emphasized the essential role of public-private partnerships in addressing statewide challenges ranging from homelessness to COVID-19 pandemic response, from clean water access to expanded access to technology equipment and internet access.
Governor Newsom shook off claims that other states are undercutting California’s leadership mantle in innovation. “The fastest growing, most influential, unicorns in the country continue to emanate and reside in California because of our unique entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
During the summit, convened by Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Zoom Founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan was recognized with the 2021 Spirit of Silicon Valley Award. Yuan sat down with Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell for an intimate conversation about leadership during a time of adversity, prioritizing employee mental health needs, and investing in and accelerating plans to develop more inclusive workplaces.
Yuan spoke to Zoom’s ambitious plans to transform and enhance their video platform by offering an experience that will one day outperform in-person engagement. “I think using all the senses together can change the way we learn, live, love and play. We’re not there yet.”
Santa Clara’s Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody outlined how the County is preparing to vaccinate all eligible children at county clinics, hospitals, schools, and other trusted community locations, in anticipation of federal health officials approving the expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations to children aged 5-11. Emphasizing the extraordinary trust and support from public and private leaders throughout the greater region during the “ultra-marathon” of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Cody acknowledged that “I had more support here than many of my colleagues across the country had.”
The Annual Forum also featured the debut of a new spotlight conversation series — called Next Gen Now — which showcases the rising leaders who are helping to shape policy across the Golden State. Today’s Next Gen Now speakers included Lourdes Castro Ramirez, California Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; Malia Cohen, District 2’s Member on the California Board of Equalization, and Michael Tubbs, founder of Mayors for Guaranteed Income and Ending Poverty in California and Special Advisor to California Governor Newsom on Economic Mobility and Opportunity.
Secretary Castro Ramirez pointed to the State’s historic $22 billion investments in affordable housing. Cohen spoke about the importance of modernizing technology infrastructure at the State and county levels to better serve the needs of California’s 40 million taxpayers.
Tubbs, a relentless advocate for ending the scourge of poverty, challenged current and potential elected officials to embrace a bolder style of leadership. “Do you want to be something or do you want to do something?”
SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas echoed the need to double down on efforts to sustain the region’s competitive advantage and create more resilient communities in the wake of the pandemic. “The only way that we can create a brighter future for our region is to embrace a new vision of Silicon Valley leadership. One that embodies accountability, equity, inclusion, and environmental stewardship, as well as an entrepreneurial approach to policy and our public and private investments.”
Clips of the summit can be viewed online here and a full rebroadcast of the 2021 Annual Forum is available at SVLG.org/Watch.
Silicon Valley Leadership group is California’s most dynamic business association. Building on four decades of success in championing the solutions that make Silicon Valley the best place to work and live, we promote solutions focused on fostering business competitiveness and the region’s innovation ecosystem. Collectively, SVLG members provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy each year. For more information, please visit svlg.org.