20 Jun 2012

Harvard Business School to Convene More Than 400 Leaders in Washington, DC to Discuss the Business and Politics of Improving U.S. Competitiveness

Leaders from the U.S. Senate, Small Business Administration, Media, Business and Labor will join HBS in an interactive discussion about areas of agreement around the actionable steps that can be taken to address America's structural competitiveness

BOSTON—On Thursday, June 21, Harvard Business School (HBS) will convene Paths Forward, an event that is part of the school's U.S. Competitiveness Project. The Paths Forward event series convenes leaders in economic centers throughout the country to discuss actionable steps to improve U.S. competitiveness, or the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete globally while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans.

Panelists include Damon Silvers, Chief Counsel of AFL-CIO; Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; and Jim VandeHei, Founder and Executive Editor of Politico.

The event will also feature several of the HBS faculty who contributed to the Harvard Business Review issue on U.S. competitiveness and/or the U.S. Competitiveness Project, including: Dean Nitin Nohria, and professors Michael Porter, Jan Rivkin, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Bill George, and Mihir Desai.

"For more than a century, global observers have considered the U.S. economy to be an exemplar and America a country to imitate. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. Insight from leaders of business, labor, government, and academia shows it is time for our government to take steps that improve the business environment," said Dean Nitin Nohria. "Equally as important, businesses must take action collectively to restore optimism and confidence in the U.S. economy. The prosperity not just of America but of the world depends on it."

"The United States is currently facing a competitiveness challenge that stems from a series of underlying structural challenges that could permanently impair America's ability to maintain, much less raise, the living standards of its citizens. To overcome its challenges, this country needs a long-term strategy that addresses a number of key elements, from the quality of K-12 education to political gridlock on Capitol Hill," said co-chair of the Project, Professor Michael Porter. "This will require numerous policy changes by the government, but more importantly, we believe that business must lead the way. By investing in skills development, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and bolstering regional strength, companies will not only contribute to American competitiveness; they will unleash some of their greatest opportunities to innovate and grow."

For members of the media interested in attending this invitation-only event or receiving more information about Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness Project, please contact Calley Means at 202-350-6672 or calley.means@edelman.com.

About the HBS U.S. Competitiveness Project
The U.S. Competitiveness Project is a research-led effort by Harvard Business School to understand and improve the competitiveness of the United States - that is, the ability of firms operating in the U.S. to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans. The Project focuses especially on the roles that business leaders do and can play in promoting U.S. competitiveness. The Project approaches current challenges to U.S. competitiveness as a matter of global concern, not just as an American issue.


Jim Aisner

Calley Means

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.