What would it take to make America work better for everybody? Perhaps convene bipartisan Congressional power structures, government agency secretaries, and America’s tech industry leaders to pick the most pressing problems for citizens in our democracy? Then figure out how to begin solving those problems with innovative technology and bold leadership?

The answer to these questions – the inaugural MerITocracy: American Innovation Forum. Featuring 10 bipartisan Congressional leaders, this DC Davos convenes the White House, Capitol Hill, agency leaders, and America’s most innovative minds from the private sector to turbocharge our nation’s innovation engine. Taking place November 16, this invitation-only gathering will tackle some of the largest and most enduring problems that afflict U.S. and global societies, endanger democracy, and empower authoritarianism. We are aiming high, because the stakes are too important to settle for less.

We’re going to come out of the inaugural MerITocracy: American Innovation Forum with priorities, action plans, commitments, and to-do lists for everyone. Don’t think one and done, think about the first step in a long journey to making things better for all Americans.

Problem Sets – Innovation Priorities

Here are six big problems that we think need fixing, and that make up the initial agenda of the MerITocracy: American Innovation Forum:

Healthcare – how to make it affordable and accessible for everyone who needs it.

Workforce and education – how to make sure that education, and access to it, is the foundation to developing the next-generation of workforce problem-solvers.

Security and privacy – how to make sure that technology is tamper-proof, that citizen data remains private, and that technology works to the benefit of the greater good.

Global competitiveness – how to make sure that U.S. innovation is world-class, and that its applications benefit all.

Citizen service – how to run government operations so that all people benefit.

Diversity and inclusion – how to break down the barriers that prevent everyone from full participation – and benefit – in all aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Who’s on Board?

Here’s who is already coming to the MerITocracy: American Innovation Forum to help work those problems out:

Ten tech-savvy members of Congress – Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va. and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., Jim Himes, D-Conn., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Gary Palmer, R-Ala., Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.

Top Biden administration officials including National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, and National Science Foundation Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan.

Preeminent private sector technologists from Amazon Web Services, Acquia, Fortinet, and Pure Storage.

National media, including our partners at National Public Radio, Politico, and the Associated Press, the good-government gurus from the Partnership for Public Service, as well as tech experts at ACT-IAC.

What’s Next?

We’ll release an Associated Press research report in August to frame the issues – based on interviews with 1,000 regular Americans, that identifies prevailing attitudes, challenges, and opportunities. Then, we’ll host a Capitol Hill dinner the night before the conference. If you’re a government leader interested in speaking at or attending the MerITocracy: American Innovation Forum on November 16 in Washington, D.C. – please contact meritocracy@meritalk.com.

DC’s Davos is bubbling.

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MeriTalk Staff