The Treaty of San Francisco: Can California Model the Future of Work? Featuring Gavin Newsom

Join us for an afternoon event exploring the future of work, featuring California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and others.

America today desperately needs a 21st-century model that enables companies and increasingly independent workers to thrive together in our new high-tech, global economy. We can’t wait for the federal government to solve all this anytime soon. Is it time for a “Treaty of San Francisco” which modernizes the 1950 “Treaty of Detroit?”

The “Treaty of Detroit” cracked the model for how both workers and companies could thrive in the post-war 20th-century world. The leading technology companies of the mid-20th century, the auto industry, worked out a deal with workers through the leading union to get both sides what they wanted. Workers got good wages tied to the rise in the cost of living, health care, pensions, and input in decisions that affected their future. In return, the companies got a cooperative, stable workforce and avoided backlash from the public for being the bad guys. This new model at the commanding heights of the postwar economy was quickly adopted by other industries and reinforced by government policies. It became one of the major drivers of the postwar economic boom and the rise of the American middle class, helping create the America that many people long to see again. Read more about the “Treaty of Detroit” and the reasoning behind a 21st-century version on Reinvent’s Medium page.

Could top Bay Area technology companies today lead the way by cracking a new economic model for how the burgeoning ranks of independent workers—from high-end contract workers to gig workers—could use tech platforms to build stable, secure middle class lives? (Three of the top five most valuable companies in the world are now in Silicon Valley.) What could the state of California, the city of San Francisco, and other local governments do to help broker this new deal in the private sector, or model innovative government policies for America as a whole?

Join Gavin Newsom and other leading thinkers on the future of work to explore these ideas during an afternoon event in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 17th. Newsom has been grappling with these issues for years as the former mayor of San Francisco, current two-term lieutenant governor of California, as well as a leading candidate for governor in the 2018 election. We’ll also have experts and innovators lead conversations on how we might construct a 21st-century “Treaty of San Francisco,” featuring many of the key elements of the 20th century “Treaty of Detroit”:

  • Income that matches the rising cost of living
  • Consistent work that provides income security even in economic downturns
  • Good healthcare that can support a family
  • Vacation time to recharge creativity and increase productivity
  • Retirement funds set aside for old age
  • A voice in decisions that affect their futures

The event is hosted by the media company Reinvent as part of its Future of Work series, done in partnership with Intuit, and is held at Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA District. The program with start promptly at 3pm and end at 6 pm, but we will continue with food, drinks and networking until 7pm. The event is free but requires an invite. If you think you have something to contribute to this important conversation, email: The entire event will be videoed and available to the public for those who cannot attend.

Scheduled October 17, 2017 3:00 PM PDT

The Future of Work

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