The Acceleration Agenda

Few of us are happy about the level of progress we have made in creating new jobs, new businesses and reaching the high road economic vision we all share – be it about manufacturing and job creation, small business entrepreneurship, clean energy market transformation, 21st century infrastructure, local economic development, or export expansion. 

In a new New Policy Institute paper being released today, The Acceleration Agenda, we describe a series of low-cost but high-impact steps we can take now to accelerate job creation, growth and American competitiveness. 

It’s important to note that the news is not all bad: a robust set of solutions and investments have already been deployed by the Obama Administration.  In the short-run, the Recovery Act has done its job to keep the economy from entering a free-fall and the Administration’s unheralded set of long-term “new foundation” investments in education and workforce, broadband, clean energy and so forth are seeding new ideas and industries. 

The next step is what this paper focuses on – creating the right “middleware” to better connect the dots -- linking short term and long term federal investment strategies, the public and private sectors, and innovative ideas from the top with the frontline realities of bottom-up and regional implementation. 

At the core of these ideas is a simple paradigm shift – an emphasis on nurturing bottom-up change rather than top-down dictates. The reason: federal silo'ed programs and one-size-fits-all solutions don't work as well anymore in meeting the complex challenges of the 21st century economic markets.  Growth, job creation and shared prosperity lies in creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and new businesses to find financing, lifting up new clean economy markets, and building new networks to connect innovators, suppliers and customers across traditional geographies.

To be clear: this paper does not simply call for more federal revenue-sharing with the states.  The changes we need to accelerate private-led innovation in regions and communities do not begin, or end, there.   We need new regional initiatives and distributed financing mechanisms to accelerate economic growth.  One such promising framework, the Jobs and Innovation Partnership, was recently outlined by US Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Fernandez here.

We are pleased to host Mr. Fernandez, and Entrepreneur, investor, and Ask Jeeves founder Garrett Gruener, to further discuss these issues at an event today and we invite both public and private partners to continue – and accelerate -- the conversation here.

Read the full working paper:

The Acceleration Agenda: Job Creation, Innovation and Economic Development in the 21st Century


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