The Congressional Millennials and Innovation

In today’s political climate, many consider Congress to be dysfunctional, hampered by gridlock, and increasingly out of touch.  Few would associate the body with the terms “pragmatic” or “forward-looking.”   Yet, two out of the only six millennials currently serving in Congress, Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Aaron Schock, R-Ill., have teamed up to combat this perception. 

Last week, they launched the “Future Caucus,” a bipartisan effort to infuse new perspective into congressional proceedings and address issues more relevant to America’s up-and-coming generations.  Within this framework, the co-chairs are not only looking for innovative solutions, but also to spark a national discussion on the future of the economy and the role that technology can play in stimulating growth.  In an interview, Rep. Gabbard described the Caucus as, “a launching point to being able to really create an economy that encourages that kind of innovative thinking.”

At ITI, we welcome – and encourage – such a discussion.  Home to some of the world’s most dynamic companies, our members continue to be at the forefront of finding concrete solutions for today’s most pressing challenges, while simultaneously reshaping the way that we approach education, health care, transportation, and energy efficiency, among other issues.  Unsurprisingly, the tech sector remains one of America’s most robust industries, employing nearly 6 million Americans and driving global economic growth each year.  Importantly, technology continues to spur growth across sectors.  A recent Forbes Magazine article noted that, for every one job created in San Francisco’s tech sector, more than three jobs are added to the local economy.  Similar trends are occurring across American cities in places like Grand Rapids, Houston, and Nashville.

It’s important to underscore that the tech sector’s innovation and development are tied to smart government policies.  In this spirit, we commend Representatives Schock and Gabbard for creating the Future Caucus, and welcome their insights as to how our members can further contribute to smart solutions to our 21st century challenges.