Since 2002 the Oregon Business Plan has been the state’s principal economic development forum, bringing together leaders from business, government, and nonprofit sectors to consider policies and initiatives to improve Oregon’s economy and life. Our longstanding goals have been to create more good jobs, increase per capita income, and reduce poverty. Last year we added a fourth goal: to share prosperity more equitably across Oregon’s diverse communities and geography.
The Business Plan has helped Oregon navigate two recessions and shape policy for a range of issues, but now we face our biggest crisis in a century. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged public health, shattered individual lives, and set back our economy while exposing long festering inequities in the fabric of our society. As this crisis unfolded in the spring of 2020 we held a number of virtual meetings with public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders to surface issues and ideas, with particular attention to the trends, challenges, and opportunities exposed or accelerated by the pandemic crisis. These conversations formed the foundation of our policy work for 2020.
In the last half of 2020, given the pandemic, we reimagined our traditional December Leadership Summit as a series of virtual events between July and December to consider how the covid crisis has changed Oregon and how we can emerge from its grip stronger and more equitable. These events included general sessions much like our traditional Summit plenary segments as well as more topical sessions like our traditional breakouts. Thank you to all who joined us for the Leadership Summit Series, Recovery for Shared Prosperity. We’ll soon have more to share here about our work and policy focus in 2021.