2017 SVCIP Forum – Public Policy Proceedings


This blog entry summarizes key themes and discussion points shared during the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project 2017 Public Policy Forum, held at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, California on March 3, 2017.  More than 190 participants attended the forum, including C-level executives, elected officials, education leaders and other community members.

Overview Of Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project

Now in its third year, the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project (SVCIP) is a research initiative co-managed by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. SVCIP tracks multiple economic and quality of life indicators to assess and evaluate Silicon Valley’s business and innovation competitiveness against other national and international “innovation regions.” Designed to coincide with the beginning of California’s two-year legislative cycle, the 2017 public policy forum is convened to engage community leaders and obtain feedback on best strategies for SVCIP advocacy.

Forum Structure

Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino and SVCF Board Chair Samuel Johnson, Jr. opened the forum with a welcome and provided an overview of the event. SVCF’s Chief Community Impact Officer Erica Wood and Leadership Group Senior Vice President Dr. Brian Brennan then presented a data-based update on report indicators. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom provided a keynote discussion on public policy opportunities. The Lieutenant Governor then joined a panel moderated by Carl Guardino to discuss the region’s innovation and competitiveness with Silicon Valley Bank CEO and Leadership Group Board Chair Greg Becker, Genentech Vice President Carla Boragno, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and SVCF Board Member Dan’l Lewin, and Education Trust-West Executive Director Ryan J. Smith.

Participants then engaged in breakout conversations to address one of seven policy areas in which they had indicated interest during their registration. Participants were specifically asked to identify two to three attainable and realistic policy approaches that could be accomplished within the next 18 months. The event ended with a brief report out from each conversation and organizers’ commitment to capture and disseminate discussion content. The following section summarizes the approaches identified within each discussion group, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or priorities of SVCF or the Leadership Group.

Breakout Session Proceedings

  • Housing
    • Sacramento needs to implement an incentivize affordable and accessible housing. (AB 71, SB2)
    • Pass legislation to secure $ for affordable housing (AB 71(Chiu) and SB 2 (Atkins)
    • Find way to revenue share property taxes
    • State needs to pass local accountability measures – by-right and requiring building planned for in housing elements and RHNA.
  • Education
    • Teacher shortage:
      • Create streamlined pathways into the profession for new teachers and mid-career
      • Use tech to facilitate teaching and delivery
      • Differential pay to incentivize
      • Improve the narrative around teaching
    • Early childhood development
      • High quality early childhood education for all
      • Align to k-12 system
    • Funding
      • R&D funds for local education innovation
      • Restructure tax (Prop 13) and funding distribution
      • Pension reform
    • Clearinghouse for public-private partnerships
  • Transportation
    • Electrify Caltrain
    • Transit Agency Coordination
    • 9-County Transportation Measure
  • Workforce/Higher Education
    • Summer program that brings together a task force to solve issues of affordability, access, and curriculum alignment with industry needs – with members from industry, community colleges, 4-year institutions, and K-12 entities.
    • Summer program – Professional development that links professionals in industry with educators, makes it easier for talented industry folks to teach, and provides opportunities for teachers to work in industry temporarily (like Ignited).
    • Make sure that the first two initiatives are industry-led, so that it can define the skills needed, and inform and fund the process.
  • R&D/Innovation
    • R&D:  increase funding, focus on supply chain
    • STEM initiatives
      • Replicate Genentech models of hands-on learning
    • Focus on addressing the skills gap in the high tech manufacturing workforce
  • Entrepreneurship
    • 6 entrepreneurship challenge events, outreach with/to local community colleges, innovation challenges, friendly competition and create inclusive tech ecosystem
    • Workforce development and training for emerging leaders (students)
    • Policy-specific:  housing, immigration
  • Tax/Regulation
    • Prop 13 reform (how property is valuated)
    • Debt forgiveness for teachers in STEM
    • Incentives for students to have access to STEM and the treatment of computer science as math.