Hall of Ideas

Hall of Ideas is Premised Upon Four Assumptions

1Our members, elected officials, policy makers and their staffs, journalists, business and civic leaders care about understanding and addressing the issues of our age.
2There has been a lot of good research and programmatic, as opposed to systemic, experimentation done on these issues in Wisconsin and across the country.
3 Awareness of/familiarity with much of this innovation and its success is limited to those working in specific fields.

4 Wisconsin leaders would benefit from being more fully aware of innovative strategies for building a strong workforce and sustaining our economy.

The Hall of Ideas is an opportunity for members and other key audiences to explore and engage with the world of innovation and change.

The spark for this venture grew out of the fact that Wisconsin, like most other states in the country, is both energized and challenged by the age of innovation and change in which we find ourselves. Our public and private sector leaders have worked and are working individually and collectively to address Wisconsin’s challenges and opportunities, particularly those related to growing our economy with more and better jobs so that we can revive the middle class and maintain our quality of life.

Not surprisingly, these efforts tend to be focused on business, workforce and talent development, retention and recruitment; entrepreneurialism and availability of capital; infrastructure; and cost and efficiency issues in both the public and private sectors. In recent years, for example, there have been a variety of initiatives dedicated to:

  • enhancing student options and performance across the educational and training spectrum;
  • strengthening understanding and relationships amongst employers, educators, students and schools.
  • streamlining and consolidating the delivery of public services;
  • understanding the importance of clusters;
  • improving access to capital.

Our goal with this section of our website is to showcase research; recommendations made; and work being done related to workforce and talent development; business retention, expansion and recruitment; entrepreneurship development; leveraging capital; and addressing cost and efficiency.</>

Workforce and Talent Development

Big Picture Learning’s (BPL) vision is to catalyze vital changes in K-Adult education by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized learning environments that work in tandem with the real world of their greater community.   At the core of Big Picture Learning’s mission is a commitment to equity for all students, especially underserved urban students, and the expectation that these students can achieve success.  Big Picture Learning designs innovative learning environments, researches and replicates new models for learning, and trains educators to serve as leaders in their schools and communities. In order to create and influence the education of the future, Big Picture Learning must continually reflect on and improve our practice and research to provide the results to leverage our influence in policy decisions and educational systems at the state, national, and international levels. - See more at: http://www.bigpicture.org/about-us/#sthash.Mb1qkVDj.dpuf

Business Retention & Recruitment


START-UP NY offers new and expanding businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near eligible university or college campuses in New York State.

Partnering with these schools gives businesses direct access to advanced research laboratories, development resources and experts in key industries.


Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale Up Milwaukee is an action project focused on developing the entrepreneurial capacity in Milwaukee by bringing together the policies, structures, programs and climate that foster entrepreneurship.

Scale Up Milwaukee is based on a model developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Projects. Isenberg has worked with entrepreneurship ecosystems abroad, in places such as Colombia, Brazil and Denmark, fostering policies, structures and cultures that stimulate long-term economic growth, development and prosperity through programs and workshops. Milwaukee is the first community in the U.S. to develop an entrepreneurship program based on this model. The initiative is also backed by Governor Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett as part of a bipartisan effort to grow the economy by stimulating high-growth ventures and encouraging job creation.


Venture Capitalist: Social Climate Crucial For Recruiting Millennials

By ERIC WHITNEY • SEP 14, 2015

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Hundreds of people gathered at Montana State University Sunday and Monday for a “High Tech Jobs Summit” organized by Senator Steve Daines. His goal was to bring technology leaders from across the country to Bozeman to talk about ways to create more good-paying Montana jobs.

There was plenty of talk about the need to increase internet bandwidth, how high speed internet creates economic opportunities, and the need to streamline government regulation. But one prominent speaker said it’s not all about tax policy, business incentives and high tech tools.

"You can do things to make it better and more attractive and more supportive for people to build companies here in Montana," says Doug Burgum.

Burgum launched a software company in Fargo, North Dakota that he went on to sell to Microsoft for over a billion dollars. He’s now on the board of a venture capital firm that invests in new software companies.

Burgum echoed what a lot of speakers at the summit said: Free markets work better to spark change than government programs. He also said there needs to be more competition in America’s public schools. And Burgum said states should eliminate corporate income taxes.

"And the last thing I want to touch on is social climate, which usually never makes its way into a tech conference, because whatever reason, political correctness, people don’t want to touch it, but I’m happy to jump in on this thing."

Burgum said that, as a low population state, Montana will need to recruit talented people and new companies, and he said it’s “crucial” to create conditions that attract entrepreneurs and talented high tech workers.

"We’re talking about trying to recruit millennials out of college, generationally there’s different views on this, and if a place looks too socially conservative, you can turn all the millennials away because they say this is not a place I want to live."

Bergum said that Montana’s natural beauty and outdoor opportunities give it a tremendous advantage in attracting talented young people. And he said cities like Bozeman, Missoula and Great Falls that are redeveloping their downtowns are helping to create the kinds of places millennials want to live.

"If you look at people that are under age 35, the vast majority of them are in favor of marriage equality, and this is a situation where, again, Montana progressively moving forward on this, helps suggest that you’re open for business for all citizens. States that are on the wrong side of this thing, they’re excluding not just the people who are directly affected, but the relatives and the friends and the supporters of people that think that all people should have equality."

Burgum was one of about two dozen technology, business and education leaders who spoke at Republican Senator Daines’ High Tech Job Summit at Montana State University Sunday and Monday.

(Original article from Montana Public Radio)

Cost & Efficiency

The Quest for Cost-Efficient Local Government in New England: What Role for Regional Consolidation?

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many local governments have experienced significant financial strain. Local governments’ financial challenges are likely to continue in the foreseeable future, as federal deficit-reducing measures trigger cuts in state and local aid and as all levels of government struggle to fund their medical and retirement obligations. In an effort to maintain service provision without significant tax increases, many cities and towns will be forced to consider a variety of cost-cutting measures, including joint service provision with other localities.