On September 12 -13, 2013, over 300 leaders from around the State of Florida gathered at the JW Marriott Orlando for the 2013 Sayfie Review Florida Leaders Summit. Attendees included Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, a delegation of over 30 Senators and House members, 15 members of Florida Council of 100, county commissioners, mayors, college presidents, university professors, editorial page editors, union leaders, environmental leaders and state agency heads, among many others.
The Summit had the support of Thought Leadership Partners and other organizations including the Florida Council of 100, Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida Philanthropic Network, Florida Press Association, The Association of Public Media in Florida, AIF Foundation, Foundation for Florida’s Future, Bob Graham Center for Public Service, Leadership Florida, Univision, University of Miami, Florida Tax Watch, The Collins Institute and the James Madison Institute.
The founding sponsors who invested in this inaugural gathering for Florida’s leaders were H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr., Florida Blue, Google, The Mosaic Company, AutoNation, Health Management Associates, Gulf Power, Las Vegas Sands, AT&T, FPL, Duke Energy, University of Miami and JM Family Enterprises.
Kicking off the Summit, the welcome lunch included keynote speaker Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, best-selling author, journalist and entrepreneur.
The theme for this day was “Disrupt Florida” and breakout sessions were held on the following topics: health, transportation, energy, education, tourism and water. Panelists included Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., University of Miami President Donna Shalala, and Stanford University Computer Science Professor Daphne Koller.
That evening, Governor Rick Scott spoke at the reception for all attendees and was introduced by Wayne Huizenga, Jr.
Breakfast for day two was accompanied by a keynote speech from CNBC’s Senior Analyst and Commentator Ron Insana who shared his perspective on business and economy.
The theme for the second day was Big Hairy Audacious Florida. Leaders attended roundtable discussions for the breakout session of their choice to determine what big hairy audacious goal they would like to see for the state. In the weeks leading up to the Summit, Sayfie Review readers were asked to submit ideas for what BHAGs they wanted Florida’s leaders to discuss. A compilation of the ideas according to topic were printed and given to each leader in attendance, and these ideas were discussed among attendees at each discussion table.
Some of the Big Hairy Audacious Goals that were proposed are as follows:
K-12: Every child is reading at grade level by 3rd grade.
Higher education: By 2020, Florida will become the top state in basic and applied research, entrepreneurship, and innovation as measured by new companies created, venture capital raised, jobs created and talent retained.
Energy: First state in the nation to have full statewide public access to alternative vehicles infrastructure, no later than by 2025.
Tourism: By 2020, to be the undisputed number one tourist destination in the world with sustained growth reaching 150 million visitors by 2020, increasing economic impact by $100 billion and international tourism by 25%.
Transportation: Florida to become the first state to implement 100% user fee based transportation funding system.
Water: By 2030, save Florida’s water supply be reducing potable water consumption by 50% while increasing water supply by 25% through natural resources and alternative water opportunities.
The closing lunch keynote was delivered by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” They told anecdotes about high profile political figures, discussed a need for courtesy and compromise in the current Congress, took questions from the crowd, and capped it off by donning their Florida hats.