14th Annual Southern California Economic Summit


SCAG 14th Annual Southern California Economic Summit - Accelerating the Region - Thursday, Dec. 7, Sheraton Grand Los Angeles - scag.ca.gov/economicsummit

Thursday, Dec. 7
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sheraton Grand Los Angeles

More than 500 attendees joined SCAG for the 14th Annual Southern California Economic Summit on Dec. 7, 2023, to discuss connections between regional planning and the long-term health of the Southern California economy. 

Highlights of the 14th Annual Southern California Economic Summit included presentation and publication of the “Regional Briefing Book,” which details the current state of the region’s economy and provides benchmarks to track the state of regional economy in the coming year. SCAG economists generally see reasons for cautious optimism about the resilience of the Southern California economy in the next year, especially after the region delivered solid growth in jobs and household incomes in 2023 despite challenges like inflation, office vacancies and increasing interest rates. 

Program & Agenda



8:00 a.m.


9:30 a.m.


9:50 a.m.

This session will present SCAG’s analysis of the state of the region’s economy, providing an overview of sector-specific employment changes and highlighting opportunities for growth. The full findings of this analysis appear in the “Regional Briefing Book” publication.  

  • Gigi Moreno, Senior Economist, SCAG 

10:15 a.m.

Beyond getting people from point A to point B, what is the value of transportation to the region’s economy? This panel will tie major areas of regional planning economic outcomes—jobs, equity, housing—to economic and environmental resilience for the entire region.

  • Hasan Ikhrata, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Association of Governments 

  • Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director, Strategic Growth Council 

  • Shannon Sedgwick, Director, Institute for Applied Economics at Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation 


  • Jan Harnik, Immediate Past President, SCAG 

11:30 a.m.


12:15 p.m.


  • Greg Lindsay, Urban Tech Fellow, Cornell Tech

12:45 p.m.

Accelerating the region isn’t possible with the same old planning formula, and the region can’t rest on past successes. It’s time to prepare for a different future—with more automation, artificial intelligence and slower population growth. How do we take advantage of these coming changes to create the future of mobility, remove barriers to housing and make significant progress toward economic and environmental sustainability? 

  • Jasson Crockett, Head of California State Policy, Snap, Inc. 
  • Brian Merchant, Technology Columnist, Los Angeles Times
  • Michael Spagna, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • Kianna Scott, Senior Vice President of Learning & Development, ChargerHelp, Inc. 


  • Paul Granillo, President & Chief Executive Officer, Inland Empire Economic Partnership 

2:00 p.m.


Keynote Speaker

Greg Lindsay
Urban Tech Fellow, Cornell Tech  

As an urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, Greg Lindsay explores AI and augmented reality at urban scales. He also serves as a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, a senior advisor to Climate Alpha and a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative. Lindsay has been cited as an expert on the future of cities, technology and mobility by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR and the BBC, and has advised Intel, Samsung, IKEA, Starbucks, Audi, Hyundai and assorted G20 government entities. He was previously the urbanist-in-residence at URBAN-X (BMW MINI’s urban tech accelerator), the director of applied research at NewCities and founding director of strategy at its mobility-focused offshoot, CoMotion.  

Lindsay is also a two-time Jeopardy! champion—and the only human undefeated against IBM’s Watson. 


Regional Briefing Book

Released in conjunction with the 14th Annual Southern California Economic Summit on Dec. 6, 2023, the 2023 “Regional Briefing Book” provides current, detailed data on the state of the Southern California economy, with breakdowns of location-specific data for Imperial County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and Ventura County. The economic news in 2023 is generally good in Southern California—the region continues to avert a long-predicted recession while collectively overcoming numerous economic hurdles. There are reasons to be cautious about the economic growth of the region and its localities in the coming year, however. 

View the 2023 Regional Briefing Book here


Additional Resources