Mapping the Midwest's Future: Regional Innovation Clusters and Competitiveness

Minneapolis, MN

September 29-30, 2014

A unique new U.S. Cluster Mapping Project tool based on pathbreaking research led by Michael E. Porter, Harvard's Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, based at Harvard Business School, has been created to provide detailed data on the presence of "clusters"—regional concentrations of related industries—and the profiles of regional economies throughout the United States. It also features a unique listing of initiatives, government agencies, and other entities engaged in cluster-based economic development, enabling public officials, policy makers, businesses, and other organizations to gain actionable insights supporting fact-driven policy decisions that can foster regional economic growth and competitiveness.

Professor Porter will formally launch the tool on Monday, September 29, as part of a two-day conference called Mapping the Midwest's Future, which will be held at and in conjunction with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis. This event will host participants from 12 Midwest states and 4 Canadian provinces.

Past Events

Desai Testifies to Senate Panel on Tax Inversions

Urges Long-Term, Competitiveness-Focused Reform


On July 22, 2014, HBS Professor Mihir Desai testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance regarding America's system of international corporate taxation. "American welfare can be advanced by ensuring that investments in the U.S and abroad are owned by the most productive owner and that American firms flourish abroad, a goal advanced by the territorial regime that has now been adopted by most comparable countries," he stated.

Click here for the full transcript of his testimony on the Committee's website.

Lasting Impact: A Call to Business and Education Leaders


Professor Jan Rivkin discussed how business leaders and educators can partner to improve America's schools with an audience of HBS alumni, educators, government officials, leaders of non-profits, and other leaders from the Washington area. He was joined on the stage by Dan Cardinali, President of Communities in Schools, the nation's largest dropout prevention organization. In the presentation, Professor Rivkin described how Communities in Schools illustrates the types of effective reform efforts described in the joint HBS-Gates Foundation-BCG research, and Mr. Cardinali used the HBS-Gates-BCG education ecosystem framework (found in Lasting Impact) to illustrate the importance of the services that his organization offers students.

The event was hosted by the HBS Club of Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2014, at the Embassy of France.

In pictures: leaders engage as Professor Rivkin presents the research.

Porter and Rivkin Meet With Congressional Leaders


Harvard Business School Professors Michael E. Porter and Jan W. Rivkin met with House and Senate leaders on July 9-10, 2013, to discuss actionable steps that can be taken to address America's long-term, structural competitiveness issues.

Professor Porter testified before the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access alongside Smyth McKissick, Chief Executive Officer, Alice Manufacturing Company, Inc.; James McConeghy, Chief Financial Officer, Chobani; and Cynthia McIntyre, Senior Vice President, Council on Competitiveness.

Professor Porter and Professor Rivkin, as well as Dante Disparte, President of the HBS Alumni Club of D.C. and ASP board members Norman Augustine and Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.) participated in a panel discussion focused on what can be done to improve America's slipping competitiveness.

Read more about Porter and Rivkin's two days in DC.

U.S. Competitiveness: Paths Forward

On March 5, 2012, Harvard Business School held its first Paths Forward event in New York, NY, convening more than 600 alumni and leaders from academia, business, nonprofits and policy on a discussion about U.S. competitiveness. Since then, Paths Forward events have become an integral part of the HBS U.S. Competitiveness Project. These events are held in economic centers around the country and serve to disseminate research as well as generate ideas for engaging business in improving competitiveness in the U.S. Each event has a unique theme around which HBS faculty members share the latest research. They also explore a range of commitments business leaders can take to improve America's competitiveness-such as improving the skills of U.S. workers through an apprentice program, building a local supplier network, or bolstering regional strength by joining a cluster competitiveness initiative. (You may complete the commitments form online or download the PDF.)

HBS has convened more than 1,800 business leaders through Paths Forward events in Charlotte, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit. Below is information on upcoming events and video from past programs.

We invite you to join the conversation in your region, in the Forum or use the hashtag #USComp.


Paths Forward, Boston: Improving regional competitiveness.   |   15 MAY 2013


Paths Forward, Detroit: Building strong supplier networks.   |   15 NOV 2012



Paths Forward, Chicago: Strengthening manufacturing in the U.S.   |   1 OCT 2012



Paths Forward, San Francisco: The role of entrepreneurship and innovation in U.S. competitiveness   |   10 SEPT 2012


Washington, DC

Paths Forward, Washington DC: Policy imperatives to improve competitiveness   |   21 JUNE 2012


Charlotte, NC

Paths Forward, Charlotte: How business can partner with community colleges to close the skills gap   |   03 MAY 2012

New York City, NY

Paths Forward: Inaugural Event   |   05 MAR 2012