The UCSB Economic Forecast Project will host its 30th Annual Santa Barbara County Economic Summit today starting at 8 a.m. at Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre.
The half-day event — hosted by UCSB Arts & Lectures — will feature lectures by author and New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota and EFP Director Peter Rupert, a UCSB economics professor and former senior economic adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The summit, started by the UCSB economics department in 1981, seeks to educate local business owners and community members on the implications of regional economic trends.
Administrative Officer of the EFP Eric Sonquist said the event is crucial for businesses within the tri-county area who want to know where the most market growth is occurring.
“This is the single most important business event in our community, with close to 1,000 attendants and 102 participating governmental agencies and sponsors,” Sonquist said. “Doing the project from the bottom up captures all the details so you can really provide some insight into the economic data.”
The event will begin with a continental breakfast and a speech from Sorkin, author of the New York Times best-seller Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves, on solutions to the U.S.’s current fiscal system. Kocherlakota will then discuss monetary policy planning, followed by Rupert’s lecture on the EFP’s analysis of current business trends.
Rupert said the data presented at the summit will give businesses an opportunity to look critically at their plans for the future.
“It is very important for decision making and long-term planning,” Rupert said. “If everyone can see the current data and understand how that may affect them, they will be able to more accurately direct resources to their highest value.”
Second-year economics major Rian Dooley said he is enthusiastic about the record-low ticket prices — $25 for students — as the summit will present valuable expertise for those interested in finance.
“Since I’m pursuing a career in economics, I want to know the current state of our local economy so that after graduation, I can contribute to the betterment of our society,” Dooley said. “I think the summit is a great way for students to learn more about trends on a microscale.”
Tickets for the general public are $125 and aall attendees will receive a free copy of the Economic Forecast book. Pre-signed copies of Sorkin’s best-seller will also be for sale at the event.