Advancing America’s Future
in a Networked World

Opportunity Rising
Reimagining the American Dream

In today’s networked economy, we need to unleash opportunities for Americans to learn and train in innovative ways and seize the growth potential of world markets and shared data. How might we shape new models of learning and work? Markle Initiative members share their vision of a new and hopeful future for America.

Message from our Co-chairs

Zoë Baird and Howard Schultz

"The America we want our children to inherit—a country that is strong and inspires opportunity for all—is at risk. There is nothing more important than finding ways to advance Americans at all income levels to successfully transition to the economy of the future."
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Philip Zelikow

Visiting Managing Director, Markle Foundation
Markle welcomes Philip Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission and former Counselor at the Department of State.
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Mr. Zelikow's Bio

Ashton B. Carter

Senior Executive, Markle Foundation
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton B. Carter joins the Markle Foundation as Senior Executive.
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Dr. Carter's Bio

Markle Economic Future Initiative

Opportunity Rising: Empowering Americans to Flourish in a Global Networked Economy

Globalization and technology are changing our way of life more than anyone could have imagined. While enriching us in many ways, these forces also have eliminated secure jobs and eroded economic security for millions. Now, we face an urgent national challenge: finding new strategies that help all Americans flourish in today’s economy.

Zoë Baird and John Fallon

Chief Executive Officer and President, Markle Foundation
Chief Executive, Pearson
John Fallon shares his thoughts with Zoë Baird about how technology can engage and motivate young people in natural and intuitive ways.

Madeleine Albright

Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
Former Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State
People often ask me what’s the most important thing that ever happened to me—becoming an American clearly. And having the opportunity to be a part of the American Dream and to have a great education; to work hard and be able to make a difference.

Ken Mehlman

Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Former Chairman, Republican National Committee
There is a great opportunity for education not only to lift up everyone in our society but to really be critical at solving problems.

“ What Americans have always been good at is innovation, seizing a challenge and making it work for us, and not being daunted by it. ”

‐ Madeleine Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
   Former U.S. Secretary of State

“ We have to find a way in which we enable a rethinking of human capital development so that we can find a way in which people are not left out of access to opportunity. ”

‐ Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University

“ The traditional ways to create jobs, which require heavy, expensive infrastructure, can be circumvented through a new type of work—digital work. ”

‐ Leila Janah, Founder and CEO, Samasource

“ Markle Connecting for Health has consistently worked to make sure that electronic health records and personal health records advance in the public interest. ”

‐ Alison Rein, Senior Director, AcademyHealth

“ The Markle Task Force has highlighted technologies that will improve information sharing and enhance security, while facilitating greater accountability and higher levels of privacy protections. ”

‐ Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist, IBM Entity Analytics Group

“ What big gear could we find that we could grab and move one way or another and make all the little ones spin? ”

‐ Michael Leavitt, Chairman, Leavitt Partners
   Former Governor, State of Utah

Other Areas of Work

Health in a Connected World

Anticipating the digital transformation of health care, Markle Connecting for Health identified how information technology can improve the quality of health care, and released the Markle Common Framework—a set of best practices for securely sharing personal health information while preserving privacy. These recommendations shaped policy across the country, including landmark provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Markle’s Work Group on Consumer Engagement conceptualized the Blue Button, which would enable Americans to easily download and transmit their personal health information. The Blue Button is now used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and major insurers and pharmacies nationwide.

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National Security

Markle identified global terrorism as a national security threat long before 9/11, but the events of that terrible day prompted us to create a bipartisan Task Force to develop the policy and technology plan for protecting America against the threats of the modern era while protecting traditional civil liberties.  The Markle Task Force comprised national security experts, information technology executives, and privacy and civil liberties advocates who created a collaborative environment for information sharing. The Task Force’s recommendations are highly regarded and formed the basis for intelligence reform and information sharing in the 9/11 Commission Report, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act 2004, and the Protect America Act of 2007, and a wide range of actions at the federal, state and local level as well as in the private sector.

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Featured Resources


Aspen Ideas Festival
Techonomy Detroit
September 16, 2014

At Techonomy Detroit, Markle joins other leaders and thinkers from business, technology, and government to share views on how to move the U.S. and the world into an urbanized, technologized, inclusive future. The conversations focus on how technology can boost U.S. economic growth, job creation and urban revival.

Aspen Ideas Festival
Aspen Ideas Festival 2014
June 23, 2014 - July 3, 2014

Tectonic shifts in globalization and technology are transforming the nature of work long considered the bedrock of economic stability in the United States. At the Aspen Ideas Festival. Markle introduces key game changers to better prepare Americans for today's global networked world.

What We’re Reading

Jared Bernstein, The New York Times - September 16, 2014

The Census Bureau's report will be another reminder of why many Americans still feel pretty gloomy about the recovery.

Hal Salzman, U.S. News & World Report - September 15, 2014

The real concern should be about the dim employment prospects for our best STEM graduates.

Richard Dobbs, Sree Ramaswamy, Elizabeth Stephenson, and Patrick Viguerie, McKinsey Quarterly - September 15, 2014

Technological disruption, emerging-markets growth, and widespread aging are confounding strategy setting, decision making, and management.

William Finnegan, The New Yorker - September 15, 2014

Fast-foodworkers have had sharp and difficult debates about the wisdom of demanding better pay and forming a union.

Philip Zelikow, Techonomy - September 12, 2014

How can we change our institutions and our national habits to grab the opportunities in a new economy and different world?

Mark Whitehouse, BloombergView - September 12, 2014

Millions of the poorest families are still very deep in the hole -- and might be getting deeper.

Mike Maughan, Forbes - September 11, 2014

The thing Millennials care most about when it comes to organizational culture is having a collaborative work environment.