Task Force Recommends Economy & Equity Scorecard, Initiative Funding; Considers Quantum Innovation
Regional COVID-19 task force continues developing vision for social equity and economic growth in the DMV, underpinned by emerging technology PRESS RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2020 – Connected DMV’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force held its fifth meeting on Thursday, further affirming its support for regional collaboration and adopting recommendations for establishment of a regional scorecard for economic growth and social equity and development of new funding models for region-wide initiatives. The meeting also included support for the Task Force’s strategic intent to develop an integrated regional quantum innovation community. “Moving forward, leaders in this region must rebuild better. Greater Washington must emerge from this pandemic with higher quality jobs and more dynamic industries that improve the wealth and incomes of more people, closing disparities by race,” said Amy Liu, Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution. “The pre-pandemic digital economy was structurally unequal. Black and Latino workers were disproportionately employed in low-wage occupations. We now have an opportunity to renew an innovation economy that comes from the talent of our region’s Black and Latino workers, entrepreneurs, and business owners.” Thursday’s Task Force meeting addressed issues of economic renewal, social equity, regional initiative funding, and quantum innovation leadership: Economic Renewal & Social Equity Scorecard The 51-member Task Force—comprised of regional leaders from the public and private sectors, academia, and community—approved a recommendation to establish a regional scorecard that tracks drivers, metrics, and outcomes of economic growth and social equity across the DMV and allows for heightened public accountability. Through identifying patterns of economic opportunity and social equity in the region, Connected DMV will utilize this scorecard to shape its portfolio of regional initiatives for greater impact in the area. The scorecard will also be made broadly available to regional stakeholders to shape strategic decision-making to spark sustained socioeconomic advancement. A working group will convene between October 2020 and January 2021 to analyze the data and deliver a regional scorecard. “Our region is among the most prosperous in the nation but exhibits extreme levels of income and social inequality. The impacts of COVID-19 have exacerbated these trends and shine a bright light on the need for a more permanent transformation as we bring our regional economy back. We must hold ourselves accountable to real progress in increasing access to good jobs, high quality education, reliable food security, adequate health services and affordable housing, and an Economic Renewal & Equity Scorecard will serve as a critical tool in ensuring that our recovery is fair and felt by everyone, everywhere across the region.” -- Evan Kraus, President & Managing Director of Operations, APCO Worldwide Regional Initiative Funding Committee The Task Force additionally approved a recommendation to create a short-term regional committee to evaluate, structure, and define funding models and sources for an array of high priority regional initiatives. By soliciting participation from regional leadership which includes representation from private equity, venture capital, banking, legal, philanthropy, local government, the federal government, and academia, this committee will work to identify novel strategic funding sources to allow Task Force initiatives to convert into operational projects. “As the Connected DMV Strategic Renewal Task Force shapes new ways for the DMV to unite through regional initiatives, we have a strategic opportunity to form new funding paths so that projects can become fully operational. The Funding Committee will bring together leaders from finance, philanthropy, government, and industry to develop new funding models and sources which will enable and sustain the important portfolio of Connected DMV Task Force initiatives.” -- Jack McDougle, President & CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade Quantum Innovation Leadership The Task Force also considered the need to be at the forefront of innovation, supporting the advancement of quantum technologies and solutions in the region to aid companies, researchers, and government in answering questions that cannot be solved through traditional computing. The DMV’s assets across research, technology, domain knowledge, investment, and policy uniquely position the region to establish a world-class quantum ecosystem. A forthcoming Task Force recommendation in October will detail the specifics and launch a mechanism for bringing quantum to the DMV, with specific focus on traditionally underserved communities. “The DMV has an historic opportunity to come together across borders and disciplines to provide national quantum leadership that drives innovation, economic development, and positive social impact globally. In collaboration with partners across academia, industry, civil society, and the public sector, Connected DMV and the Task Force are finalizing details to create an integrated and inclusive quantum innovation community as a key strategic initiative for the DMV and the nation.” -- Carla Grant Pickens, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, IBM Over the next month, the Task Force will continue to release actionable recommendations that will complement and help connect the efforts of regional governments. An After-Action Report is planned for the coming months to outline the Task Force’s strategic vision for economic renewal tied to increased social equity. This vision will outline core pathways to a more robust and durable marketplace for innovators, small and large businesses, and other organizations in our nation’s capital region.