Silicon Valley Tech Leaders Plan For The Future

Friday, October 12, 2007

Silicon Valley leaders are peering into their high-tech crystal ball tonight and trying to get a read on the future with new technology and innovation at UC Berkeley.

Silicon Valley led the last technological explosion from the mid-90's through the early 2000's. Some believe we're on the verge of it happening again.

John Chen heads Sybase. He's also on the board of ABC7's parent company, Disney. He joined the discussion moderated by PBS talk show host Charlie Rose in this innovation summit about the future of U. S. Technology.

"You see a lot of innovation in wireless. You see a lot of innovation in green tech obviously. You see a lot of innovation in biotech. And you see a lot of innovation in software, so it's just now feeding into a very good pipeline," says John Chen, Sybase Chairman, CEO, and President.

"The education system is a trouble spot. In order to continue, you kind of need fuel to continue the fire. In order to continue that, we really need strong, good talent," says Chen.

Most agree our higher education is second to none. The problem, they say, begins long before they get here if they get that far.

"I'm very optimistic about the future of this country, but we've got to have a sense of urgency about that. We've got an education system that's falling behind, a broadband implementation that's about number 25 in the world, and broadband is the future infrastructure. We are remarkably good about innovation and market transitions, and then you need supportive government," says John Chambers, Cisco Systems Chairman And CEO.

The government demonstrated its support with the recent Comprehensive Innovation Legislation to fund research and education designed to nurture creativity. TechNet, a coalition of technology company executives, which sponsored Thursdays conference, applauds the federal action.

"The use of technology and the efficiencies that are obtained by it have added two trillion dollars to our economy. It's very very important in terms of our future economic growth and our job creation in this state and the country," says Jim Hawley, TechNet Vice President.

Competitive superiority is going to be quite a bit harder to achieve with so much greater competition around the world.

ABC7 Extra:
Watch Willie Monroe's unedited one-on-one interview with Sybase CEO John Chen below.

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