This year, as host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the United States has pushed the forum to produce concrete, tangible results -- in a phrase, to "get stuff done." Over the past two weeks, San Francisco has hosted the Third APEC Senior Officials Meeting and Related Meetings (SOM 3), and California has truly demonstrated to APEC what it means to turn ideas into concrete results.
APEC delegates had the opportunity to see how Californians "get stuff done" in a variety of fields -- from alternative energy to women's economic inclusion, from disaster management to, of course, wine-making.
When the meetings kicked-off with a joint Transportation and Energy Ministerial Conference, ministers were invited to a showcase of alternative-energy vehicles. Highlights from the showcase included a hydrogen-powered garbage truck that uses methane from landfills to supply its hydrogen, an electric motorcycle, and a plethora of alternative-energy cars, which visiting officials were invited to test drive.
Delegates to the Women and the Economy Summit (WES) heard from some of the most powerful women in California, including Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy at Disney. Their success stories contributed to WES's message that economies can capitalize on the economic potential of their populations by increasing women's access to capital and markets, capacity and skills building, and leadership programs.
During the APEC Conference on Innovation, Trade and Technology, Alberto Savoia, Director of Engineering and "Innovation Agitator" at Google, addressed how to foster successful innovation. Meanwhile, senior disaster management officials visited Google's Disaster Management Office and toured Autodesk's showroom, where they saw a range of models constructed with 3-D design and engineering software and used to simulate how infrastructure reacts to a variety of different disasters and other stimuli, including the model of the Bay Bridge shown in the picture above.
When APEC senior officials met on Sunday at the end of the multi-faceted conference, APEC had already been imbued with the California spirit of "getting stuff done," with the officials rolling up their sleeves to make progress on the three themes of the host year: strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade, encouraging environmentally sustainable growth, and promoting regulatory cooperation and convergence throughout the region.
Looking to the APEC Leaders' Week in November, we have taken steps toward creating a robust package of tangible results for President Obama and his counterparts to take home -- in no small part due to the catalyzing inspiration of the Bay Area's results-oriented spirit.