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By Zoë Baird Small businesses have been critical in powering America through the greatest transformation of our economy since the Industrial Revolution. Nearly two-thirds of the jobs created during our recovery have been generated by startups and small enterprises. But as we begin the new year, those businesses are increasingly in danger of falling on the wrong side of an emerging digital divide. Large corporations are investing heavily in data and analytics, far outpacing the investment capabilities of smaller firms. According to a recent GE Accenture report, 84 percent of executives in large companies worldwide indicated that big data analytics could shift the competitive landscape for their industry in the next 12 months. And 80-90 percent report that big data analytics is either the top priority of the company or in the top three. If the public and private sectors don’t come together to fix this imbalance, many small companies will be pushed out of the market to the detriment of the American economy. In 2016, we need a national public-private effort to solve this growing problem and ensure small businesses have the access to the modern data tools they need to thrive in the new economy. Data has enormous power to transform a business, identifying efficiencies across an operation and spurring innovation. With advanced analytics, companies can forecast demand, optimize supply chains, identify emerging markets, and increase exports to the world’s growing middle class. Read More
Breakout 1: Are Robots & Software Really Eating Our Jobs? How certain are we that technology and globalization are going to impact our economy and our workforce? Panelists: Gerald Huff, Tesla Salim Ismail, Singularity University Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media Philip Zelikow, University of Virginia Interviewer: David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy
At the turn of the millennium it was clear information technology would dramatically impact health, education, economic opportunity, and participation around the world. This Impact document provides an overview of Markle’s signature work over the past two decades to leverage the unprecedented pace and scale of change and create opportunities and policies that benefit the public interest. Download Document
By Antonia Hernández As head of one of the country’s oldest community foundations, I have seen many dedicated families, immigrants, and entrepreneurs work hard to succeed in Los Angeles County. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I believe that realizing the promise of the American Dream is not a question of policy or government spending alone, nor is it the responsibility of any single individual, company or school. “Business as usual” is no longer workable or acceptable. Rather, solving some of our greatest challenges—including providing education and opportunity for all—starts with local residents coming together and taking innovative action to ensure that every member of the community has a chance to succeed. Simply put, it is time for new ways of investing in our communities. Consider a recent initiative, Rework America. Convened by the Markle Foundation, the initiative brings together a diverse group of business leaders, educators, policymakers, and advocates to expand opportunities for all Americans. Working with local communities, the initiative launched Rework America Connected, a partnership with LinkedIn, Arizona State University, edX and local and state educators and employers to build a skills-based labor market. Read More
Managing Talent in the Networked Age Markle’s CEO and President Zoë Baird joins Reid Hoffman, co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn, to discuss innovations in work and ways to enhance training, education, and career pathways in the digital economy. The two will discuss the 21st century skills-based labor market that Markle and LinkedIn are building in partnership with Arizona State University, EdX, and local officials, educators, and employers in the state of Colorado and in the city of Phoenix. Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, LinkedIn Policy Action Recommendations For the 21st Century Economy It’s easy for people in Silicon Valley to miss the enormous role that government policy and scalable actions at a national level play in enabling innovation, preserving a level playing field, and setting the conditions under which the market flourishes. Zoë Baird of the Markle Foundation, Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, and Felicia Wong of the Roosevelt Institute are three of the most influential voices exploring strategies to address the economic challenges of 21st century America. Markle’s Rework America initiative, CAP’s “Middle Out Economics”, and the Roosevelt Institute’s Rewriting the Rules report all provide frameworks for us to think about how government, businesses, and entrepreneurs can take action at all levels—based on the needs of this century, not the previous one—to make the economy work for all. They will share their latest thinking and concrete policy recommendations. Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress Felicia Wong, President and CEO, Roosevelt Institute
Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Bill Bennett, Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Host, “Morning in America” Sebastian Thrun, Co-founder and CEO Udacity Moderator: Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor, Global Tech, Bloomberg Workforce 2016 and Beyond Markle's Zoë Baird joins in discussion with Bill Bennett and Sebastian Thrun to talk about innovative approaches for retraining millions for the jobs of tomorrow.
By Zoë Baird Many are talking about how the very nature of work is changing in today’s connected economy…the race against the machine, the rapid growth of the gig economy, introduction of technology into just about every job, market, and business. Less well recognized, and certainly less exploited, is the potential online tools have to change the way we learn, train, and connect to the jobs of tomorrow. This opportunity is key to making the transformation of work benefit all Americans. Behind us are the days when employers placed ads in the classifieds, recruiters visited colleges to find applicants, or people combed their local newspapers for appealing listings for well-recognized jobs. Job seekers today are turning to online platforms — including LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder — which allow prospective employees to search online for open positions, while employers also can use these platforms to sort through potential candidates more quickly and easily. From part-time work to high-tech positions, the rise of connected platforms is only a small part of a much larger transformation. Read More
By California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin It seems nearly every day a new technological wonder changes the way Americans live, learn and work. From breakthrough apps to digital networks to automated vehicles, California is consistently a strong engine that pushes our country forward. Yet, too many in our state and elsewhere in the country, feel that opportunity is increasingly out of grasp. So often we hear of six-figure starting salaries and multibillion-dollar IPOs in Silicon Valley, but the stories are very different in places like Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton and plenty of other American cities where the middle class is rapidly shrinking. As digital technology thrusts our nation into its greatest economic transformation in over a century, we must work together to ensure everyone benefits. It’s time for all leaders to work through the fog of partisanship and commit to an action agenda to create opportunity for all Americans. This is the new imperative. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century forced America to transform the way it trained workers as they moved from field to factory. Now the digital revolution of the 21st century and our shift from an economy of bricks and mortar to one driven by software requires a different approach. We have to rethink how we educate our workforce, train workers to have skills they need for the digital age and better connect employers with job seekers. Read More Newsom is lieutenant governor of California. Swearengin is mayor of Fresno. They are co-authors of America’s Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age, a book by Rework America.
By Zoë Baird America's most successful political leaders have always shared a key ingredient—an optimistic vision for our country's future. Our nation's most respected presidents have been those who offered hope to millions of Americans at times when they had little to none. From FDR whose New Deal vision brought Americans out of the Great Depression and into a new age of vitality, to Ronald Reagan whose 'Morning in America' propelled the country forward following a decade of economic stagnation, candidates can raise the national conversation to what is possible and the heights we can reach as a people. We now face the greatest time of change in our economic life since the Industrial Revolution. Across the country, Americans are discouraged by stagnant incomes, and uncertainty about their future as the forces of globalization and technology continue to pummel everything familiar to them. Driving America forward—especially during times of economic change is never an easy job—but our best leaders have always leveraged our enormous assets as a country with the power of optimism and hope to lay out a path for a better future. Today, we need that more than we have in decades. Read More
By Dorothy Stoneman It’s no secret a skills mismatch is holding back American businesses and jobseekers. Millions in this country remain out of work or underemployed, yet more than 5 million jobs remain unfilled in the U.S. Some 45 percent of employers say a lack of skills is the leading reason for entry-level vacancies, according to a recent McKinsey survey. Meanwhile, there are nearly 6 million young men and women ages 16 to 24 who are currently unemployed and out of school who have the potential to fill these jobs. This demographic is lately called “opportunity youth” because they are both seeking opportunity as well as offering an opportunity to society if we invest in them. Many face challenges such as being born into poverty, leaving high school without a diploma, and/or having criminal records for minor offenses. Faced with these realities, what can our nation do to repair our broken labor market and better match all Americans with opportunities? One solution is simple: invest in all of our talent. As the CEO of YouthBuild USA Inc., which serves as the national support center for a network of over 260 local YouthBuild programs, I know the power of working with young adults who desperately seek a chance to break the chains of poverty. Not only do young adults lift themselves up when treated with respect, love, and offered a proven comprehensive approach, but whole communities are lifted up with them. YouthBuild graduate Michael Donnelly is a moving illustration. Michael became a father when he was only a junior in high school. He subsequently dropped out and worked odd jobs to support his family, but became gang-involved, and ended up sentenced to three months in county jail. The judge, recognizing the value of a second chance, allowed Michael to participate in the local YouthBuild while he served his time. In the 15 years since he completed the comprehensive education, job training, community service, and leadership development program at YouthBuild, he has served as street/gang outreach worker, youth interventionist for a public school, and now adviser to the police department on community relations. His three teenage sons are succeeding in school and college. Read More By Dorothy Stoneman is CEO and founder of YouthBuild USA Inc., member of Rework America, and co-author of America’s Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age.
Reid Hoffman, Zoë Baird, James Manyika, and Byron Auguste at WorldAffairs 2015 "On My Mind" Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird joined leading thinkers for a discussion on technology, jobs, and the challenge of the shrinking middle class. Convened by the World Affairs Council, and hosted by Reid Hoffman, James Manyika, and Jane Wales, the off-the-record roundtable discussion was followed immediately by an on-the-record report-out taped for broadcast on the World Affairs Council’s weekly National Public Radio Show. The show was produced by KQED-FM and hosted by Jane Wales, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and CEO of the World Affairs Council. On-the-Record Report Out Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Byron Auguste, Co-founder, [email protected] Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partner and LinkedIn Co-founder James Manyika, Director, McKinsey Global Institute Jane Wales, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and CEO of the World Affairs Council
By Zoë Baird and Governor John Hickenlooper Colorado will soon introduce “Rework America Connected,” an online jobs platform that combines skills training with a digital labor market. Colorado is on the road to recovery from an historic recession and no where is that more evident than in its technology, healthcare and skill trades sectors. In fact, this week’s second Annual Talent Pipeline Report highlights these industries as some of the fastest growing in Colorado, offering the most prospects for those looking for meaningful work. Openings for physician assistants, mechanics and electricians and computer support specialists – many that require a specific skill set but not necessarily a college diploma – are presenting new opportunities to workers across the state. Read More