Innovate DTLA Launches

Downtown Center BID kicks off its Innovate DTLA initiative with an exclusive leadership symposium featuring The Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces

Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution

The Downtown Center BID's Innovate DTLA initiative officially launched on June 22nd at an invite-only symposium at The Gas Company Tower hosted by WeWork and Brookfield. The event brought together leading thinkers on innovation and placemaking who are committed to elevating Downtown LA's position as a globally-acknowledged center for creativity, innovation and technology. 

Kicking off the symposium was a dual keynote by Bruce Katz, Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Rise of Innovation Districts, and Fred Kent, founder of Project for Public Spaces, during which they illustrated the shift towards dynamic and vibrant urban centers as the "new geography of innovation." They were followed by Nick Griffin, Economic Development Director of the DCBID, who described how Downtown LA has all the necessary elements to be a leading Innovation District, citing a critical mass of innovation assets, as well as key anchor institutions such as the world-class research facilities of the University of Southern California. 

The keynote was followed by a panel of key players in DTLA's innovation ecosystem: 

• Bert Dezzutti, Executive Vice President, Brookfield 

• Martha Escutia, Vice President Government Relations, USC 

• Jim Gilliam, Founder & CEO, NationBuilder

• Peter Marx, Chief Technology Officer, City of Los Angeles 

• Tara Roth, President, Goldhirsh Foundation 

• Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer, LA Metro 

• Fred Walti II, President & CEO, LA Cleantech Incubator 

Moderated by Andy Altman of The Brookings Institution, the panel shared their experiences and thoughts on developing an innovation ecosystem and culture of creativity. 

The main goals of the Innovate DTLA initiative are to: 

• Promote downtown as a place of innovation and creativity 

• Nurture the existing innovation ecosystem 

• Attract more creative and technology companies, organizations and individuals to DTLA 

Innovate DTLA will continue with a series of workshops and events over the summer, culminating in a report on Downtown's future as an "Innovation District" to be released in October of 2016 during LA Innovation Week. 

For more information on Innovate DTLA, contact Nick Griffin at (213) 416-7522, Director of Economic Development at the DCBID.

Event Photos