ForecastSF 2014: SF Leads Nation in Economic Growth

Innovation Districts Showcased as Economic Drivers; Affordability and Quality of Life Key Components of Managing Economic Success


More than 300 business and civic leaders convened today at ForecastSF 2014, the region’s leading economic forecast and jobs summit, presented by Wells Fargo in partnership with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and its foundation partner, the San Francisco Center for Economic Development.

Innovation, affordability and managing economic success were the key themes of this year’s program, featuring remarks from Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia;Brookings Institution Vice President, Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, and The Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy, Bruce Katz; and an exclusive panel of experts moderated by Lennar Urban San Francisco President and Brookings Institution Nonresident Senior Fellow Kofi Bonner.

Economic growth in San Francisco continues to outpace the state and national economies. A highly-educated workforce and access to financial capital continue to drive business investment in the metro area,” said Wells Fargo Chief Economist John E. Silvia. “The housing market has made sizable gains, with new residential construction coming on line, although affordability remains an issue.”

This year’s event also spotlighted “innovation districts” – a radical departure from traditional economic development practices.

“At a time when many cities are still struggling to create broad-based economic growth, innovation districts—places that are physically compact, transit accessible, offer mixed-use properties and cluster cutting edge research institutions and R&D intensive companies with start-ups and business incubators–super-charge the innovation economy,” said Bruce Katz. “This is critical because innovation and tech jobs have a strong multiplier effect in creating non-tech based jobs thereby ensuring a sustainable and inclusive economy which is crucial to San Francisco’s continued recovery and future growth.”

To explore the topic of innovation districts further – and how San Francisco might act as a hub to weaving together other Bay Area regions – Kofi Bonner moderated an exclusive panel discussion with the Honorable Willie Brown, Jr.; Kim Majerus, Vice President, US Public Sector, Cisco Systems; Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary, Office of the Governor of California; and Leslie Wong, President, San Francisco State University.

San Franciscans should be proud of the level of economic growth that has been achieved through public-private collaboration and the engagement of the city’s diverse business community,”

said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Linscheid. “The Chamber thanks our Chair Peter Gruebele and Wells Fargo, and sponsors Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Lennar Urban, PG&E, Webcor, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Nixon Peabody LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Recology and media sponsors San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle – and all of the supporters who made ForecastSF possible.”

ForecastSF is presented by:

Wells Fargo in partnership with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED).

More information on ForecastSF is available at: ForecastSF

The Wells Fargo Economic Forecast is available upon request.

More information on the San Francisco Center for Economic Development is available at: SFCED