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This week, we held our 2011 Outlook Conference, and what a day it was!  We’ve received incredibly positive feedback on the conference, which covered topics ranging from the future of sports in the Bay Area to the new infrastructure of the 21st century.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, fresh off his recent victory helping keep Twitter in San Francisco, delivered the welcoming remarks to help us kickoff the morning and then we jumped right into the first topic of the day – education reform.  Our panel featured Dr. Jerry Weast, California Senate President Darrell Steinberg and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a discussion on how we can fix our state’s broken education system.  It was great to hear an outside voice on education reform – and people are still talking about Dr. Weast, the amazing strides he made in Montgomery County and how he can help replicate that success in California.

Next up was our panel on the future of sports in the Bay Area, moderated by the fantastic  Brian Murphy, aka Murph of “Murph and Mac” on KNBR 680, and featuring San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer, Gary Cavalli, Executive Director of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dave Kaval, President of the San Jose Earthquakes, Craig Thompson, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority and San Francisco 49ers President & CEO Jed York. The panel was one of the highlights of the day for many attendees, with discussions on the growth of soccer in the Bay Area and whether there will be a 2011 NFL season because of the lockout.  The Giants were also generous enough to lend us the World Series trophy for the day, which made for lots of great photo opportunities.

The day also included a panel on the infrastructure of the 21st century, which featured an important discussion on the workforce training needed for the jobs of tomorrow.  The panel of top executives from Silver Spring Networks, Coulomb Technologies,, AT&T and SolarCity also discussed the need for monitoring our mobile data usage, as smartphones and tablet computers consume an ever greater amount of our broadband capacity.  We also heard a fantastic presentation from Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner on the groundbreaking research being done at UCSF, and the day was closed out with an engaging discussion on national politics with Burson-Marsteller’s Mark Penn and Karen Hughes, expertly moderated by Bay Area Council Chairman and Catholic Healthcare West President and CEO Lloyd Dean.

But by far, the highlight of the day was the address by Governor Jerry Brown, who was in great form on his 100th day in office.  Governor Brown held court on a number of topics, including how large we can expect the state deficit and education spending cuts to grow without any permanent solutions for the budget.  Governor Brown also called on the 1,000 business leaders gathered for the conference to “be part of the solution” by helping to put his tax extension proposal on the ballot.  The witty Governor also mixed in a number of jokes that had the entire room in stitches.

Videos of the day’s panels will be available on our Youtube page and you can check out photos from the event here.  A big thanks to all of our sponsors, speakers and all who attended.  They all made the 2011 Outlook Conference a day to remember!

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