WASHINGTON, July 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NCEI) with the Maker City Project today announced the launch of 2026.US, a 10-year challenge to mobilize young people, cities, entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders of businesses and nonprofits, and policy makers committed to setting tangible goals for America in 2026, as the nation sets a planning horizon toward its 250th birthday.
America has celebrated its past and future every 50 years – from the country's Jubilee in 1826 to the opening of the National Air and Space Museum during the Bicentennial celebration in 1976. The precedent from the American Bicentennial is to begin planning 10 years in advance. The Sestercentennial upcoming in 2026 is an opportunity to galvanize a network of change agents committed to remaking our nation's economy so that every American is able to reach their full productive potential.
This initiative will lend a distinctly bottom-up character to America's 250th celebration, with civic leaders and teams of citizens taking the lead in conducting a decade's worth of projects, contests, and entrepreneurial experiments—remaking America for the twenty-first century.
"We're using the contemporary innovation playbook that draws on networks and small teams trying new ideas, and on public-private partnerships to drive change," said Peter Hirshberg, co-founder of the Maker City Project, a collaboration of 100 U.S. cities, the Kauffman Foundation, Maker Media, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "The American experiment has always been about coming together and solving problems. We have an ideal development timeframe for U.S. cities and one that is long enough for a generation of students to come of age and have a very real effect on the future of their communities. Ten years spans electoral terms and allows for audacious goals and collaboration, but is also short enough to motivate a sense of urgency."
Toward this end, NCEI has conducted two major convenings in the past four months exploring the possibilities created by America's 250th. The first convening took place in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2016 and involved major entrepreneurial leaders and policymakers including NCEI advisor Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and co-inventor of the TCP/IP Protocol (the architecture of the Internet); Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the President of the United States; and Jill Johnson, CEO at Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL). A four-minute video from the DC event is accessible at 2026.US.
The second convening took place in San Francisco on June 21, 2016 and involved a group of Bay Area youth leaders, representatives from youth-focused organizations, and speakers including Jennifer Anastasoff, a founding member of the U.S. Digital Service at the White House; Sherry Huss, co-creator of Maker Faire; and Gustavo Herrera, West Coast Director for Young Invincibles.
"It's truly possible in this digital age to recapture the energy of the founding of this country in a manner that's not only broadly appealing, but that lights up the imagination of millions of our fellow citizens across this country with the theme of innovation for America's future," said Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the President of the United States. "It's a particularly auspicious moment to fire the imaginations of our young people, who will own that future, who will build it, who will shape it."
"As we try to think about 2026, we need to remind ourselves that our imaginations may be insufficiently rich," said Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. "Could we make it distributed? Could we make it online? Could we make an internet's World's Fair? These are the questions we need to start asking, and we are."
The Maker City Project will be a core partner of 2026.US. Its network of 100 cites will collaborate on project development for the ten-year goals.
To highlight the importance of young people participating in this 10-year effort, the Innovations for Youth (I4Y) initiative at UC Berkeley will partner with 2026.US to pilot GEN2026, a youth census of possibilities/listening campaign that will be inclusive across communities and levels of opportunity. In association with this effort and with the support of Capital One, NCEI has commissioned a short film by Carlos Javier Ortiz, a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, featuring Bay Area youth sharing their thoughts on the broad question of where our country is today, and where it should be in 2026. That six-minute film is accessible at GEN2026.US.
America leads the world in innovation and entrepreneurship, and there is no greater innovation project than America herself.
About the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation ("NCEI") is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation registered in the District of Columbia. NCEI's mission is to mobilize resources and capabilities on a national scale toward the goal of ensuring that 21st century entrepreneurial opportunity and innovative potential reach every community across the nation. The 2026.US convenings hosted by the NCEI have been sponsored by Capitol One, The Kauffman Foundation, and the Hagley Museum.
About Maker City Project
The Maker City project is funded by the Kauffman Foundation with support from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Maker Media, and the Gray Area Foundation for the arts. The project helps cities understand the Maker movement and the impact it is having on economic opportunity, education, workforce development and American manufacturing. Its Maker City Playbook (makercitybook.com) is based on interviews with Makers, civic leaders and change agents across the United States and presents a comprehensive overview of how Makers are changing our cities for the better, creating the next wave of economic opportunity.
More at https://makercitybook.com
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SOURCE National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NCEI)