The group then gathered to hear a talk entitled “The Next Economy: Transforming Energy and Infrastructure Investment,” by Bruce Katz, Vice President of the Brookings Institution and Founding Director of its Metropolitan Policy Program. Katz sees “The Great Recession” as an opportunity to reinvent the American economy and reestablish the nation’s place in the world. He spoke about four things that are vital to this goal.
Katz first challenged the audience to visualize an economy where more firms in more sectors trade more goods and services seamlessly with the world, particularly with the rising nations that are rapidly urbanizing and industrializing. Second, he asked everyone to imagine a world where America not only leads the global transition to sustainable growth but uses breakthroughs in technology and practice to spark a production revolution at home, and drive wealth creation and sustainable growth.
The people in this room and the sectors and constituencies you represent are illustrative of the energy and potential of metropolitan America.
— Bruce Katz
He then proposed that the next economy will be rooted in and led by metropolitan America. The real heart of the American economy — 100 metropolitan areas that after decades of growth take up only 12 percent of our land mass — harbor two-thirds of our population and generate 75 percent of our gross domestic product. This is the new economic geography, enveloping city and suburb, exurb and rural town in one seamlessly integrated whole.
Finally Katz proposed that to build the next economy, the U.S. must connect macro vision to metro reality, the macro to the metro. The U.S. needs a playbook that is uniquely aligned to our entrepreneurial nation, where quality growth and jobs emerge from the DNA of metropolitan America: private firms, research institutions, investors, governments, trade associations, philanthropy, and labor.
Our challenge is to convert the dynamism in this metropolis … into solutions that are pragmatic, far reaching and critical to this moment. We must move as quickly as possible to change the mental map of our nation from a constitutional union of 50 states to an economic network of highly connected, hyperlinked, and seamlessly integrated metropolitan areas.
— Bruce Katz
Katz presented a compelling and inspiring case for the vital importance of supporting CED and the University of California as a whole. Our institutions, he argued, are essential to reestablishing California’s economy and place as a world leader in intellectual and socially beneficial thought. Just a day after presenting the same case to Governor Schwarzenegger, Katz stated that CED is, “a unique, pragmatic, grounded voice in the coming debate over jobs and economy and investment. Let that voice be heard!”
We are grateful to all who made the 50th Anniversary Gala a most memorable evening and who contributed founding gifts to the 50th Anniversary Student Support Fund. We are also grateful to our leadership committee, which helped to make the gala possible.
50th Anniversary Gala Leadership Committee
- Robert (’78) and Millicent Lalanne
- Robert Steinberg (’77) and Alice Erber
- Lydia Tan (’83) and John Barton (’83)
- Caitlin Lempres-Brostrom (’90) and Nathan Brostrom
- Mary Corley (’95) and Jeff Bond Cordelia Hill (’79)
- Brad Inman
- Fred (’68) and Beth (’66) Karren
- Richard (’68) and Bonnie Keating
- John (’61) and Katherine Kriken
- Janet Moody (’81) and John McMurtry (’83)
- Judd Williams (’90) and Anne Bonaparte
- Robert (’68) and Sheryl (’67) Wong