Welcome to the 2nd Close It Summit. Last year our theme was “Be a Game Changer”, playing on the theme of the film “Moneyball”, the famous baseball movie and the story of one rogue scout that analyzed data to find the hidden talent that existed to win the game. We heard from many of you that you learned things at the inaugural Close It Summit that you didn’t know. It was our attempt to begin a more disruptive conversation around the need for new solutions that use data and research to find a hidden talent pool. And most importantly a willingness for behavior change of all players— Demand, Supply, Intermediaries and Government. This year we continue the theme of disruption, with a focus on JOBS. We are grateful that you are here with us to participate not only as an onlooker but as an expert in the field of education to employment. This year’s attendees are extremely knowledgeable in education and workforce and bring thousands of years of combined experience in education, training, economic development and JOBS. My calculation is somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000
YEARS of experience. Our lagging global competitiveness continues to be one of our country’s most pressing issues—what are the solutions going to be? Texas A & M’s recent definition of competitiveness is “the degree to which a country can, under free and fair market conditions, meet the test of international markets, while simultaneously maintaining and expanding the real incomes of its citizens.” At the heart of global competitiveness is employment and income for our citizens. Close It 2014 is about advancing more solutions that will do exactly that. Our global competitiveness will require more innovation and disruption, and a realization of what doesn’t work any longer. But most of all it will take tremendous collaboration. We atInnovate+Educate commit to collaboration, disruption and change in 2015 and beyond.