Inequality in America has grown over the past forty years across an array of indicators, from income and wealth, to college completion and household debt. We are seeing the frustrations caused by decades of declining opportunities and stagnant wages being expressed in the presidential election and in the streets of cities, like St. Louis and Baltimore. But it doesn't have to be that way. For the past six years, public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders in cities across the country have been coming together to build a new way to solve today's complex problems. They are moving the needle on education, jobs and wealth creation, at a meaningful scale. We can restore equality of opportunity in America because we already are doing it. But it requires each of us to lead from wherever we sit – boardroom, office, council chamber, classroom or home.
Ben is President and CEO of Living Cities. Living Cities works with partner organizations to benefit low income people and the cities where they live. It deploys a unique blend of more than $140 million in grants, loans and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity.
Prior to joining Living Cities, Ben co-founded One Economy Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting low-income people to the economic mainstream through innovative, online content and increased broadband access.
Ben has long been active in expanding access to childcare, housing, and opportunities through roles at Enterprise Foundation, Georgetown University Law Center and as an author. In 2013, Ben was selected as one of the Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide in the area of Urban Policy. He is currently Chairman of EveryoneOn, a national initiative founded by the FCC to connect low-income Americans to digital opportunities
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx