September 9, 2012

Last year, Fellow Jeremy Goldberg was a recent transplant to San Francisco from Washington D.C. and a graduate student at University of San Francisco.  Today, he is helping to shape the world around him, in this nation’s “new economy.”  As noted in a speech I listened to last week at a large event which took place in Charlotte, North Carolina …(some of you might guess it), the economy as we once knew it is “never coming back.”  Along with this notion is the fact that: For America to gain an edge again in this new World economy, we will need to employ and source new and energized ways of grooming local talent:  for our corporations and our government.  Enter San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s Talent Bridge Program.

In conjunction with Peter Furman, Chief of Staff to Mayor Reed, TalentBridge serves as the recruiting, coordinating, top-level management organization for any Silicon Valley government agency who wishes to receive no-cost cognitive problem-solving assistance from the incredible talent pool that exists in Silicon Valley.  Working hand-in-hand providing strategic support and helping to implement this program, Jeremy is at a grass roots level, seeing first-hand how a local government can begin to change the way corporations reach out and re-tool the processes by which they govern, by enlisting those professionals and brightest minds in their field in their given area of expertise.

…This is precisely what a Fuse Corps Fellowship does, while bringing government improvement to the local level in the state and local offices of Governors and Mayors, nationwide.  Here, below, is an excerpt of my interview with Jeremy Goldberg, our 2012 Fuse Corps Fellow in San Jose, California:

Q:  What are the Top 5 Reasons to be a Fuse Corps Fellow?

1) To put it into the words of one of my mentors here at Fuse Corps, To “not waste a good crisis!”  In other words, during this time when the nation is in so much turmoil and re-birth, in terms of the recovery from the financial crisis we have endured, we have the opportunity to think more creatively, to be challenged, and to figure out new ways while being entrepreneurial.  In this “new time” we need new forms of government.

2) Career Trajectory:  To work at this level with the learning experiences that I am getting this year, with major leaders in these cities:  It is the networking and connections made with people in the program that bring you to a whole new level, with new ways to work and produce.

3)  The Leadership:  The coaching, staff and Board of Directors are each experts in their own field – in a very wide array of fields.  You have access and exposure to that and will continue to, on into your career.  They make time for you and are always available to answer questions.

4)  A Management Level Role for your Career:  You are looked to and challenged to be better than you ever have been before.   The decisions you make have consequences and responsibility within the context of your project; and will continue to within the city that you are deployed.  I’ve never been challenged in quite this way before!   You also have a chance to experience the culture of a city, and to take that in, considering it while you implement your project.

5) Theory & Practice Learned:  One of the greatest aspects of the fellowship has been the Leadership Institute.  One key learning that I gained from it was actual design theory.  You learn how this theory works, directly from the partners at the Standford d. School.  And then, you are given a project whereby you need to create and give a presentation to the group, using this method.  It is this hands-on training that has been invaluable.  Just being able to sit there learning it, and then seeing the results of that later in your project was amazing.