September 9, 2015

Closing the Gap: Solutions for building a more inclusive economy

Closing the Gap

JD LasicaMy friend Gary Bolles, co-founder of SoCap (the Social Capital Markets gathering about social good entrepreneurship), has just announced his latest endeavor: Closing The Gap, a conference in December focused on increasing economic opportunity in the United States.

Talk about timely as hell!

As Gary wrote to me:

We’ve all seen the statistics: There’s a growing gap in our country between the haves and have-nots. Economic mobility is becoming a thing of the past. Software and robots are automating countless jobs.

What does this all mean for the future? An evaporating middle class, an economy at risk of stagnation, and widespread unemployment and underemployment.

We have to ask ourselves the question: In five or ten years, what will we wish we’d done about income inequality — now?

That’s why we’re bringing together over 300 of the sharpest minds to Palm Beach, Florida, this December 6-8, 2015. By assembling leaders and leading thinkers from Business, Education, Government, and Community to collaborate on ideas for scaled solutions, we have the opportunity to bring a tremendous amount of attention and resources to our current and future economic challenges.

How can we create economic opportunity for all? How can we build an education system for the 21st century? What’s the future of work? We need concrete, scalable answers to these questions, and more.

“If we focus our efforts on solving the most fundamental challenge facing our economy today, then we can bring back the dream of economic mobility for all”

The conference’s speaker list includes Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Canadian Member of Parliament Chrystia Freeland, economist Nouriel Roubini, historian Niall Ferguson, behavioralist Dan Ariely, Nobel Prize winner Henry Kissinger, Singularity University’s Salim Ismail, Heron Foundation’s Clara Miller and Stanford’s Vivek Wadhwa, among others.

The host of Closing the Gap (not to be confused with a ton of other initiatives called Closing the Gap) is the Greene Institute, a Palm Beach-based nonprofit founded by entrepreneur Jeff Greene, dedicated to finding, developing and promoting solutions for building a more inclusive economy.

I won’t be able to attend, but if you’d like to attend, contact me and I’ll provide a 50% discount code if you register before Sept. 15.

Gary summed it up nicely: “If we focus our efforts on solving the most fundamental challenge facing our economy today, then we can bring back the dream of economic mobility for all, and create an economy that will be far more resilient in the face of any future challenges.”

Sounds like a worthy and important gathering. JD Lasica, founder of, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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