Economic Development

Friday, September 21, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Student Union Building (SUB), Ballroom C
free parking at the UNM Cornell parking structure
:: Register now!

Join UNM President Robert Frank and guests, including Governor Susana Martinez, and Victor Hwang, author of “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” for a day of structured conversation about practical ways UNM can directly impact how the state, communities, employers, and entrepreneurs grow our regional economy.

Special guest speakers include New Mexico Economomic Development Secretary Jon Barela and University of Florida’s Ed Poppell.

Who should attend: Albuquerque area business people, economic developers, university community involved in or interested in economic development, community and government leaders.


9:00Welcome and Opening Remarks: Universities as centers of innovation, creativity, research, and thought leadership with Robert Frank, President, University of New Mexico
The Role of Research Universities in Growing Our State’s Economy: Keynote address by Governor Susana Martinez.
UNM, NMSU, NMT: Presidents Panel on Opportunities and Challenges at our Research Universities with President Frank; Dan Lopez, President, New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology; and Barbara Couture; President, New Mexico State University
“The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” with author Victor Hwang. Hwang will relate “The Rainforest” to New Mexico and the opportunities to communicate, collaborate, and build trust that leads to innovation and economic advancement.
The Rainforest in the Desert Panel with Lisa Kuuttila and panel. This will be a discussion on how the ecosystem concept could work in New Mexico, and what other ideas might work for the state and region.
12:00Lunch and Speakers: The New Mexico Experience with Jon Barela, Secretary, State of New Mexico Economic Development Department and The University of Florida Experience with Ed Poppell, Innovator and former Vice President of Business Affairs and Economic Development, University of Florida. Poppell will give an “outside looking in” perspective and will discuss his experience on the power of universities to help build sustainable economies. Poppell will also reflect on what he has seen and heard, and how the conversation must turn into action to meet economic challenges, on the regional, national, and global levels.
1:00Reaction Panel with Chaouki Abdallah, Provost; Doug Brown, Dean, Anderson Schools of Management; John McGraw, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development; Richard Larson, HSC Executive Vice Chancellor; Catalin Roman, Dean, School of Engineering
Remarks by President Frank, a recap and invitation to continue the conversation with interactive breakout sessions.
Breakout Sessions: Where do we go from here? Several group facilitated discussion sessions with participants.
3:00Report Out and Final Thoughts with President Frank to conclude the summit. 

Victor Hwang

Victor Hwang, California venture capitalist, will discuss the concepts of his book “The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley,” and how they relate to research universities. Hwang thinks of Silicon Valley as a big experiement, where people of diverse backgrounds and talents came together to develop a community of mutual trust, collaboration, and support. He says that in order to develop innovation amongst peers, “tribes of trust” must be built. More on Hwang’s Rainforest concepts can be read online via


Source: Economic Development at the University of New Mexico.