The Geography of American Opportunity

Feb 27, 2024 |
Menlo Park, CA
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Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences attended this special event featuring a reception and conversation with entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, sociologist Katherine Newman, and founder of End Poverty in California Michael D. Tubbs about the geography of opportunity in the United States. The program included an introduction by Academy President David Oxtoby and remarks by Chair of the Academy's Board of Directors, Goodwin Liu.

The United States has always had richer and poorer areas, but the gap between our richest and poorest communities has grown dramatically over the last few decades.  There are places where population growth has stalled, business growth has slowed, jobs have disappeared, and insecurity has increased. What are the best methods to create opportunity in struggling areas and restore residents’ trust in democracy? Looking to the future, how might AI and other technological innovations address—or exacerbate—these gaps?  This conversation was inspired by the work of the Academy’s Commission on Reimagining Our Economy and its recommendations to build a people-first economy that ensures no Americans and no communities are left behind.