Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MassTLC Issues Call to Arms: Challenges Tech Sector to Create 100,000 jobs by 2020

MassTLC laid out an "aggressive" challenge to the tech sector at our Annual Meeting: let's seize the opportunities presented by the new innovation waves -- including the growth of ubiquitous connectivity, the ascendancy of cloud computing, and the proliferation of so-called "big data" analytics -- to create 100,000 jobs for Massachusetts over the coming decade.

Council Chairman Steve O'Leary noted that: Massachusetts has potential for technology growth that is second to none. No other place on the globe can match our state's unique combination of historical innovation, higher education leadership, concentration of venture capital, and per capita gross domestic product. Much as Massachusetts' historic innovations revolutionized the worlds of politics, industry, transportation and technology entrepreneurship in past generations, the current generation of technologies, infrastructures, ideas, and other innovations can drive a new decade of unprecedented growth and job creation. Steve O'Leary put it this way: "We have an A team; it's time to start playing an A game."
Steve's made his presentation in tandem with MassTLC trustee and Avid Technology founder Bill Warner, who presented his own challenge (sounded already on some of his recently blog posts) to "change beliefs, change behaviors and go out and change the world." Bill implored the audience to start "thinking big and playing big," saying that Massachusetts veteran entrepreneurs had to take a more active role in mentoring budding start-ups and had to help growing, mid-size companies make the leap to billion and 10 billion dollar companies.

Here are his blog posts: It's About Leadership: A Proposed Scorecard for Massachusetts Technology Companies and It's About New Behaviors: A Proposed Playbook for Massachusetts Technology Companies.


Bill's "Shake It Up" video -- which uses the Red Sox' change in belief system as metaphor for changes he seeks for the Massachusetts tech community.



The MassTLC board has already agreed to take up the mission laid out by Steve and Bill and has dubbed it the "MassTLC 2020 Challenge." Over coming year, the Council will realign some activities and fine-tune others to support the 100,000 job challenge and it will appeal to state government, related industry groups, global tech leaders, and others to help meet the challenge of 100K incremental jobs. We invite the community to share with us the inhibitors to their company growth in MA and ideas for how we, as a community, can help address them. Send your thoughts to us at: challenge@masstlc.org.

Following the MassTLC 2020 Challenge presentation, the Annual Meeting's other keynoters and panelists underscored the O'Leary and Warner message.

Economist Michael Mandel made the case for innovation leading us out of the recession into great new opportunities, especially in communications.
Akamai founder Tom Leighton presented his vision for the next leap forward for the Internet and digital communications and the importance of distributed networking -- a potential Massachusetts strength -- in making that leap.
Pattie Maes, Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab, gave us a glimpse of the future with their latest research project, the Sixth Sense.
Emily Green, Yankee Group CEO and author of the book "Anywhere," which also make the case for the great opportunities presented by ubiquitous connectivity, led a spirited panel discussion on how this new level of connectedness can spawn change and opportunity in a wide range of areas -- health care, energy and others. Another potential strength for Massachusetts, which, it goes without saying, is home to some of the world's great health care institutions and one of the largest clusters of clean energy entrepreneurs.

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