Rationale of the Event:

Why a Summit That Combines the Three Components: Education, Entrepreneurship & Exports?
  • To help the region proactively face as well as benefit from the challenges and opportunities respectively posed by our interdependent global order.

  • To address the complex root causes not the symptoms of our challenges. It is not only unusual, but quite common, to act on the symptoms rather than on the root causes. This consequently aggravates the problem due to actions and interventions itself due to impetus efforts and improvisation.

  • What is of paramount importance before undertaking any action is deep and broad comprehension of the root causes of the problem.

  • Many problems persist and prevail in spite of many and sometimes well intended actions for various reasons: 1) incomplete information, 2) incorrect information, or 3) lack of understanding of the nature and root causes of the problem. Ironically, it is precisely when the root causes of a problem are not understood that we can contribute to solve it. Not necessarily by acting, using quick fixes or silver bullet solutions, BUT by rather understanding the problem in-depth. In no small measure, we are convinced this is the added value of this Summit.

What Role does Education play in the Equation?

  • According to SCANS (Secretary Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills) Report for America 2000, The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, US Department of Labor and to the Innovation Skills Profile of the Conference Board of Canada (The largest think Tank in Canada), you need much more than science and math to be successfull in a highly competitive globalized world and economy. Both profiles coincide that you need an unusual set of attributes an competencies that include “soft skills” , IQ, but also EQ. These skills are essential for innovation and high levels of productivity and equally relevant to all types and sizes of organizations so they can produce new and better processes, products and services.

  • It is clear that if we want to pursue optimum levels of local and global competitiveness as well as rekindle our sluggish economy, we have to create broad awareness that education drives productivity and innovation (the two principal drivers of any economy).

What is Entrepreneurship?

There are various concurrent definitions:
  • The Lester Center at Berkeley University in California provides the following definition: “Entrepreneurship is the search and unrelentless pursue of opportunities, above and beyond the resources available within your reach and under your control, through high levels of productivity and constant innovation. Without any doubt, this entails disposition for risk and temperament for action.

  • An entrepreneur is a person that identifies an opportunity in a market and has the motivation or drive and the ability to mobilize resources to develop it as well. It is a self confident person with multiple task abilities that creates markets and generates profits behind a product or service, and navigates comfortably through rough waters.

  • This is a topic of interest for various disciplines such as venture creation, venture capital, social entrepreneurship, business and entrepreneurial innovation, global business, information technology and biotechnology among many others.

Following are some of the attributes of an Entrepreneur:
  • Confidence: maintains confidence when facing difficulties and disheartening circumstances.

  • Innovation skills: is not an inventor in the traditional sense of the word, but is one who crafts a new niche in the market and makes it visible to the rest.

  • Results oriented: knows that in order to be successful, he or she needs a driving force that can only be obtained from establishing clear goals and objectives as well as from the pleasure and satisfaction derived from fulfilling them.

  • Disposition for Risk: knows that success entails taking calculated risks. In general, a successful Entrepreneur exhibits a great disposition for taking risks, exposing himself or herself, step by step in calculated, limited and gradual degree in order to move from one phase to the other in accordance with the certainty and outcome of his or her previous decision.

  • Total Commitment, hard work, high level of energy and capacity to hyper focus are essential in the profile of an Entrepreneur.

Nevertheless we have to underscore two caveats:
  • First, the deliberate and formal training of selected candidates to develop the abovementioned necessary attributes and competencies does not guarantee the success of the business.

  • Second, the entrepreneurial attributes and competencies required for the successful launch of a new business are not necessarily the same ones needed to achieve sustained growth in the business or the same ones needed to innovatively manage and maintain the business competitive once it has grown and is a mature business. Regrettably and in too many occasions, he or she is unable to make this transition.

Time Magazine dedicated its May 29, 2009 issue and front page to the future of the U.S. Labor market. The conclusion that we can derive from this very well do-cumented report is that “employment as we know it, disappeared”. The article indicates that “Ten years ago, Facebook nor Internet existed. Therefore, who knows what jobs will be needed or created for the next decade. Even though unemployment is at its highest level in 25 years, employment will return, but not in the same way. No one is going to pay for just coming to work. We will see more flexibility, self employment and entrepreneurship, and collaboration. In summary, a labor market much less secured and guided by a new generation with new values and with women in the drivers seat”.

What is the importance of Exports and Export Capacity?

In August 4, 2010 the Brookings Institution published a report entitled “ Export Nation: How U.S. Metros Lead National Export Growth and Boost Competitiveness” prepared by Emilia Istrate, Jonathan Rothwell and Bruce Katz, Vicepresident and Director of the Center and
  • The growth of exports in the US has generated a significant increase in the creation of high paying jobs.

  • Exports generated 11.8 millions jobs at national level and 7.7 million jobs were created in the 100 most productive metropolitan regions. This represents 8.3% of total employment at national level and 8.1% of total employment in the most productive metropolitan regions.

  • Another remarkable finding is that the 10 me-tropolitan cities with the highest export value produced 43% of the total exports produced by the 100 metropolitan cities. Also, 4 of the 100 metropolitan regions duplicated their export value between 2003 and 2008.

  • The export firms within the 100 metro cities paid higher salaries than those focused in the domestic market.

Finally, the December 2005 report prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, confirms how the economy of agglomeration combined with the creation of multi-sector clusters and its supply chain, has dramatically increased the productivity, innovation and competitiveness of New York, transforming the city into a global export hub for multiple business sectors. As a matter of fact, New York City ranks second among the top 10 cities with the highest value of exports.

There is no doubt that we live in a globalized world and economy; one that is highly competitive where cities, countries and regions compete with one another. Labor mobility has considerably increased the availability of labor force around the world, capital moves to the friendliest environment, and technology through innovation has eliminated any gap in productivity or geographical constraint. We should not focus on the symptoms, but rather act on the root causes of the problem and that entails addressing three key pillars: Education, Entrepreneurship (Business Sophistication) and Development of Export Capacity. Therefore, we propose the following formula:
  • Develop Export Capacity (goods & services )
  • But to Export, you must first be...
  • An Entrepreneur
  • But to be an Entrepreneur...
  • You must first pursue an Excellent Education, BUT with a 360o global perspective!
The formula: E3 = C Education+Entrepreneurship+ Exports = Competitiveness