Innovator Article

Powerful Catalyst for the “Next Economy”
Igniting Economic Development

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The Graduate School of Management’s vision is to spur new business and job creation, prepare management leaders and accelerate investment and innovation through partnerships with industry, education and government. Dean Steven Currall is actively involved in economic development initiatives, working with business, community and government leaders at the local, state and national levels to chart a new course toward renewed prosperity.

Hit hard and still reeling from the deep recession, the six-county Sacramento region has responded with concerted action. Currall is collaborating with diverse California leaders and area stakeholders on Next Economy, a public-private regional revitalization plan—a top priority for the School. GSM alumnus Mark Otero ’07, CEO and founder of online gaming developer BioWare Sacramento, serves on the six-member Next Economy Leadership Group.

UC Davis plays a pivotal role as a powerful economic engine for Northern California, generating $6.9 billion in annual economic activity and accounting for 69,000 jobs, according to an analysis released in December by Sacramento–based Center for Strategic Economic Research.

At the state level, Currall joined business leaders at the announcement of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California,” in San Jose in July. The agenda is a workforce strategy with eight pillars, such as aligning with regional strengths, driving innovation and accelerating the clean economy.

Along these lines, Currall has advocated for university enterprise zones to better connect researchers with critical partners—entrepreneurs, investors and corporate partners—both locally and internationally. The zones would offer incentives to build launch pads for start-ups and serve as a landing area for larger, established companies to work more closely with universities. UC Davis is reviewing more than 40 concepts for such an Innovation Hub.

The campus took this idea to the next level in July by hosting John Fernandez, the U.S. Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for economic development, at a town hall to discuss the Sacramento region’s future. Currall moderated the Q&A with Fernandez involving leaders from the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Valley Vision and the Northern California World Trade Center. rays08_1_1.eps
Our Mission

As the UC Davis business school, the mission of the Graduate School of Management is to be a global leader in business and management research and education. As part of the world’s premier public university system, the University of California, we pursue significance, excellence and scholarly rigor in our research, teaching and service to society. We emphasize curiosity, creativity, and high standards in the generation and transmission of theoretical and practical knowledge relevant for for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Our Vision

The vision for the School is to serve as an engine of economic prosperity in our region and globally. Economic prosperity involves wealth creation as well as fostering opportunities for upward economic mobility for all citizens. Promoting economic prosperity operates at two levels. First, the School must be a supplier of first-class business and management leadership to public and private, medium- and large-sized organizations. Second, the School must act as a catalyst to help small, entrepreneurial companies bring innovations to market.

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