Next, technology must be embraced as the growth-driver and game-changer that it is.
Technology is not a single, all-powerful industry. It is now a part of every industry. It will continue to change the way we work, communicate, and live—at a rapidly accelerating pace. Even with these changes, technological advancement is an opportunity, not a threat.
The Chamber Technology Engagement Center, or C_TEC, is helping businesses, communities, policymakers, and workers understand and adapt to the new economy.
This is essential to broadly sharing the benefits of growth—especially in distressed communities that could really use a boost. But in some parts of the country, the barriers are significant.
The 34 million Americans who don’t have internet access are all but locked out of the new economy, both as consumers and entrepreneurs.
Middle America also struggles to attract investment needed for high-growth startups. Currently, two-thirds of venture capital are concentrated in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, and Washington. And many leaders around the country simply don’t have enough information about how technology can be leveraged to strengthen state and local economies.
The Chamber recently established a working group to promote the value of the new economy and to address the barriers standing in its way.
Another priority is highlighting the ways technology is improving people’s everyday lives—from better health care to streamlined small business operations to more productive family farms.
This is especially important as a backlash against major tech companies is gaining strength—both at home and abroad, and among consumers and governments alike. We must be careful that this “techlash” doesn’t result in broad regulatory overreach that stifles innovation and stops positive advancements in their tracks.
And even as we work to advance technology in our economy, we must also safeguard businesses and consumers from its risks, including cyberattacks, data privacy, and intellectual property theft.
Technology will continue to be a major driver of stronger, sustained growth—and if we leverage it smartly and carefully, we will all benefit.