Principles to Elevate CA

As steward leaders, we propose the following principles to unify leaders as they seek to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions in California, the nation, and the world. These principles can help guide public actions and private choices that contribute to a vibrant, just, and sustainable future—a prosperity shared among us and with future generations.


  • Improving equity will require reducing income inequality, increasing economic security, bolstering wealth generation, and restoring upward mobility.
  • Equal opportunity—always a moral imperative—is now a social and economic imperative. As the population gets older—and grows more slowly—as many Californians as possible need to be engaged in the economy and contribute to their communities.
  • Improving resiliency will require lifting up lower-income Californians, enabling more workers to reach median incomes and stability, and accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Public programs—from the safety net to workforce development—must more effectively help impoverished Californians achieve self-sufficiency and resiliency.


  • Attracting private capital and seizing opportunities for high-wage growth will require public-private partnerships that create value for investors, communities, and regions.
  • Attracting private capital to generate valuable and in-demand jobs will require state agencies to collaborate more with local agencies at the regional level—to align public investments and regulations in support of projects that advance the triple bottom line.
  • Technological and other disruptions will require public agencies and their civic partners to be nimble and adaptable—and to proactively help individuals and families adapt and thrive.


  • California’s environmental leadership—on climate change, public health, and biodiversity—will have the greatest impact if California can demonstrate how to reduce carbon use and restore ecosystems while creating more equitable, just, and resilient regional economies.
  • Developing truly sustainable communities will require a radical integration of new technology and community design, deep and strategic collaboration among public agencies, and resilient local enterprises and regional economies.


    Focusing on the Triple Bottom Line

  • The triple-bottom-line framework needs to be applied to policy decisions, not just business ones. We must align public resources and regulations to simultaneously advance equity, prosperity, and sustainability. And we cannot afford major policies that prioritize one or even two at the expense of the third.
  • Triple-bottom-line solutions can also promote greater understanding—across ideologies and interests, geographies and generations—building society’s capacity to reduce conflict and to develop inclusive and resilient communities and regions.
  • Rural-Urban Connections

  • Sustainable urban communities are reliant on sustainable rural communities. Vibrant urban economies benefit from vibrant rural economies. And equitable and just economies must be equitable and just within regions and among regions.

Endorse the Principles

Help Make Change Happen:

Your contribution to CA Fwd will support meaningful solutions emerging from a robust convergence of ideas and a diverse set of California leaders.

The progress by California Forward and the California Economic Summit proves that with strong partnerships California can demonstrate how to lead on triple-bottom-line solutions that strengthen our economy, provide equitable opportunities for all, and protect our environment at the same time.

California must show that we can help address climate change while lifting people from poverty and into the middle class, that we can lead the world in technology and not strand workers without jobs.

The California Economic Summit serves as a networking forum for civic innovators and policy leaders throughout the state to get achieve that goal.

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