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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Welcome 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. As its Visiting Managing Director, Mr. Zelikow will play a key role in guiding the development of the Markle Economic Future Initiative.
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Mr. Zelikow'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 E. Deasy

President, Markle Foundation
Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District
Superintendent John E. Deasy speaks with Zoë Baird about the challenges of learning in the Digital Age and the changing expectations of work.

Calvin O. Butts, III

Pastor, The Abyssinian Baptist Church
President, State University of New York College at Old Westbury
In order to restore the American Dream, in order to bring back hope and promise for so many young people in this nation, we need strong, visionary leadership.

Matthew Slaughter

Associate Dean for Faculty, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
Former Member, President’s Council of Economic Advisers
The main economic anxiety that a lot of Americans have right now is can I find a job, and is it going to be at a decent wage that rises over time, so I can take care of myself and my children, parents, and those different dimensions of the American Dream.

“ 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

Sara Horowitz, LA Times - August 29, 2014

The 40-hour workweek and its employer-provided benefits — were the foundation of our economy. That was then. Now, independent work is the new normal.

Rebecca Riffkin, Gallup - August 28, 2014

College graduates are the most likely group to get a sense of identity from their job, perhaps because education opens up job opportunities.

Neil Irwin, The New York Times - August 28, 2014

It is easier to see the jobs that are endangered by emerging technologies than it is the opportunities for new jobs those technologies will create.

John Doerr, Wall Street Journal - August 22, 2014

This year more than 750 million educational apps will be installed world-wide

Karen Mills, Harvard Business Review - August 21, 2014

The health of American small businesses depends significantly on credit.

Josh Zumbrun, Wall Street Journal - August 19, 2014

The “Skills Gap” rest with employers, not workers, says a new working paper from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

David L. Kirp, The New York Times - August 16, 2014

The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate.