William Ford Jr. and Gary Lock

10 Tasks to Help Business Government Restore Economy

William Ford Jr., executive director of Ford Motor Co., and Commerce Secretary Gary Lock were on hand to release "America's To-Do List."

The organizers of The National Summit recently unveiled "America's To-Do List" – 10 strategic initiatives for business and government to jointly pursue to revitalize the U.S. economy. The National Summit was convened by the Detroit Economic Club (DEC) in June to revitalize America's economy. It brought together top business, government and academic leaders to create consensus recommendations for increasing America's competitiveness in four critical disciplines – Technology, Energy, Environment and Manufacturing. Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company and Andrew Liveris, chair and chief executive officer, The Dow Chemical Company, were co-chairs.

"The common theme we heard at The National Summit is that America needs a new relationship between business and government," said Ford. "The consensus recommendations that were developed there will help us jointly pursue strategic policy decisions that will drive competitiveness and help rebuild our economy."

"The National Summit was a tremendous first step. It generated great ideas for revitalizing American competitiveness and strengthening the economy," said Liveris. "The job ahead for all of us is to turn this critical to-do list into a true national agenda. We must engage aggressively on each of these issues and we must engage now."

Four professional services firms served as Knowledge Partners to coordinate the discussion at The National Summit - Ernst & Young for Technology; PricewaterhouseCoopers for Energy; McKinsey & Company for Environment; and Deloitte for Manufacturing. Deloitte also oversaw the development of America's To-Do List, a summary of the consensus recommendations from The National Summit:

America's To-Do List:

  • Develop a comprehensive national energy strategy that includes a clear carbon policy.
  • Develop a national manufacturing strategy that re-establishes an environment for U.S. businesses to thrive and compete on a global basis.
  • Support and encourage research and development and innovation as catalysts for economic growth, job creation and environmental improvement.
  • Encourage sustainability in business practices, including conservation and efficiency from producers to consumers.
  • Improve and promote science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) education in primary through graduate schools.
  • Focus on skill-building and workforce retraining to provide "just-in-time" talent to meet changing business needs.
  • Shift perception of national "stars" beyond athletes and entertainers to include engineers, scientists and thinkers.
  • Upgrade and integrate infrastructure to support 21st Century business needs, such as airports, sea ports, highway systems, water systems and waterways.
  • Expand and coordinate smart grid activities to balance energy needs and connect new energy sources.
  • Create transportation infrastructure to support electric vehicles and alternative fuels.
The Book of Proceedings, a more detailed and comprehensive account of the discussions and consensus recommendations of The National Summit, also has been published.

More than 4,000 participants from 550 organizations attended The National Summit. Approximately 100 leaders, from both the public and private sectors, served as speakers, panelists or moderators, including Secretary Locke; Steven Ballmer, chief executive officer, Microsoft Corp.; Harold McGraw III; chair, president and chief executive officer, The McGraw-Hill Cos.; James Mulva; chair and chief executive officer, ConocoPhillips Co.; Vikram Pandit; chief executive officer, Citigroup Inc.; and W. Douglas Parker; chair and chief executive officer, US Airways Group, Inc.

"At The National Summit there was widespread agreement that we have to look beyond crisis intervention to a more collaboration and cooperation between business and government." said Beth Chappell, president and chief executive officer of the DEC. "We are excited to keep that process moving forward by sharing America's To-Do List."

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