Preparing Florida’s Infrastructure for Smart Growth and Development

Think about it. Florida is already the third largest state in America and we’re growing by over 1,000 new residents every day. We have 21 million residents and we’ll grow by five million more by 2030. By then, we’ll have three million more drivers on our roads, 50 million more visitors and we’ll need 20 percent more water. The good news is that Florida’s business leaders have a plan and it’s getting traction. This is good for Florida, good for job creation and it’s a great way to Secure Florida’s Future.

While we’re growing, Florida is also becoming more diverse. Aging Baby Boomers will continue to swell Florida’s elder population and at the same time, the Millennial and GenX generations are growing as a share of Florida’s total population. As Florida’s population changes, it is important that our infrastructure systems respond to their changing needs. Creating long-term investments in Florida’s transportation, energy, water, telecommunications and agriculture infrastructure is essential. Our infrastructure needs to support growing demand as well as a wide range of options – from sustainable water solutions to autonomous transportation systems.

The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 research outlines where Florida needs to be by 2030 to remain globally competitive. To secure Florida’s future, we must consider the water and energy needs for nearly five million more residents, be ready for the hard and soft infrastructure needs like broader telecommunications, improved roadways and railways, air, space and sea ports, ensure Floridians can connect to job opportunities, education, healthcare options, each other and the world, as well as support continued economic growth while preserving Florida’s essential environment and community assets.


How Do We Make Sure Florida Is Prepared for Smarter Growth?

The Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition, chaired by former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad, is focused on creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture infrastructure. With Washington, D.C.’s likely focus on infrastructure, the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition aims to maximize Florida’s economic growth opportunities. And, here at the state level, double down on efforts to prepare for Florida’s growing population through infrastructure investments. As part of the Florida Chamber’s continuing efforts, we are working closely with state leaders like Senate President Bill Galvano to enact smarter growth policies that meet Florida’s long-term needs and will, this week, present recommendations the Florida Chamber’s Infrastructure Coalition has prepared for Florida’s elected officials to consider.

The Florida Chamber understands the importance innovation and technology play in Florida’s future- specifically as they relate to Florida’s infrastructure future. Florida 2030 research estimates that by 2030, more than 25 percent of all miles driven (including freight) could be by autonomous vehicles. With guidance and leadership from state leaders like Senator Jeff Brandes, Syd Kitson of Babcock Ranch and Grayson Brulte of Brulte & Company, the Florida Chamber created Autonomous Florida, a statewide initiative that works to ensure Florida continues leading the way in autonomous transportation. Our vision? To make Florida the autonomous capital of “all things autonomous” in North America.

I believe Florida will continue to grow and we can remain competitive if we plan better for the next five million residents than we did for the last five million.


This week, leaders from around Florida and the nation will gather at American’s first solar powered town, Babcock Ranch for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2018 Growth & Infrastructure Summit, to discuss the future of Florida’s transportation and infrastructure systems, as well as outline the strategies needed to grow smarter. Governor-elect DeSantis, Senate President Galvano and House Speaker Oliva have all signaled an interest in keeping innovation and infrastructure at the core of Florida’s economic development future. This is great news as we fight to Secure Florida’s Future.

December 10, 2018

Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise: Amendment Two


Constitutional Amendments     2018 Election Center


Robert Weissert of Florida TaxWatch: “Amendment 2 is Important for Everyone”

In the latest edition of the Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise, Robert Weissert, Executive Vice President of Florida TaxWatch, discusses Amendment 2 and its impact on all Floridians.

“It would be a major concern if this goes down because it’s the only protection in the constitution for non-homesteaded property, so we would see significant iniquity in the property tax system but more importantly we would see negative effects on Florida’s economy,” said Weissert.

Click Below to Listen to Robert Weissert.




Vote “YES ON 2” This November

If Amendment 2 passes it will not only help Florida’s families and job creators but aid Florida’s economy.  Learn more about Amendment 2 here or get involved at


Florida Chamber Foundation Releases Quality of Life Recommendations from Florida 2030 Report

Healthcare, housing and prosperity the focus of discussions in Jacksonville


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2018) – The Florida Chamber Foundation today released preliminary recommendations on the future of Florida’s Quality of Life during its Florida 2030 Quality of Life & Quality Places Rollout. Florida 2030 is a three-year research project that seeks to identify the challenges and opportunities facing Florida between now and 2030 and create a blueprint for Florida’s future.


“We are proud to support the Florida Chamber Foundation and the Florida 2030 project,” said Wells Fargo Florida Business Banking Division Manager and Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustee Ergetu Merete as he kicked off the Quality of Life and Quality Places rollout discussion. “As business and community leaders, we must pay attention to how we can help create vibrant and prosperous communities that not only drive economic growth in Florida, but also attract and retain top talent in our state.”


Discussion at today’s statewide rollout centered on the challenges a growing and aging population could bring to Florida’s healthcare, the need for sustainable and affordable workforce housing, as well as pointed conversations on how business can lead the way in creating paths toward prosperity.


Florida is moving in the right direction. Florida’s GDP recently topped $1 trillion — which makes our state the 17th largest economy in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Argentina. Consider also:

  • Florida’s strong healthcare system means Florida is ranked 12th overall for well-being in the nation, including ranking 1st for social well-being and 4th for purpose, yet 13.1 million Floridians have at least one chronic disease. How will Florida use innovation to bridge the gap for an aging and growing population?
  • While Florida’s poverty rate is improving, 3% of Florida’s children and teenagers live in poverty. How can Florida pave pathways to economic prosperity for all zip codes?


To view, download and share the recommendations released today on Quality of Life & Quality Places, visit There, you will also be able to view, download and share the Trends & Indicators for the Future Report, which outlines Florida’s challenges and opportunities for 2030.


“Today, Florida’s economy is the 17th largest in the world — but what will it take to move our economy into the top 10 spot? And more importantly, how can we work together to ensure Florida doesn’t lose ground?” said Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Florida 2030 provides a comprehensive look at what Florida needs to get right in order to become and remain a place marked by global competitiveness, prosperity and high-paying jobs, and vibrant and sustainable communities. Florida’s future will face challenges, but it also means we have unique opportunities to succeed.”


The Florida 2030 preliminary research recommendations are being released statewide and the full report will be released at the 2018 Future of Florida Forum September 26-27 in Orlando. Media are welcome to attend and should RSVP to


Where does your county stand on prosperity, housing starts and more? Visit For a deeper analysis of these numbers, click here to request more data.


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The Florida Chamber Foundation is the business-led, solutions development and research organization working in partnership with state business leaders to secure Florida’s future. The Foundation’s “Six Pillars” serve as a visioning platform for developing the first-ever long-term strategic plan for the state. The Foundation’s work focuses on: 1) Talent Supply & Education, 2) Innovation & Economic Development, 3) Infrastructure & Growth Leadership, 4) Business Climate & Competitiveness, 5) Civic & Governance Systems, and 6) Quality of Life & Quality Places. Founded in 1968, the Foundation is a crucial voice for improving the state’s pro-business climate to enable Florida to grow and prosper. Visit  for more information.

Why Does Florida 2030 Matter?

Learn More About Florida 2030
The Florida Chamber Foundation has embarked on a statewide tour to release the preliminary recommendations of Florida 2030- a multi-million, 3-year research report with one goal: identify the challenges and opportunities Florida has between now and 2030 so our state can continue to grow.

But why does creating a blueprint for our state matter and why should leaders take active roles in the conversations?

We caught up with Florida Chamber Foundation Trustee Diane Carr, General Counsel for Johnson & Blanton, LLC and asked her to share her perspective on the importance of Florida 2030.

Click the video below to learn more.

“Whether we are talking sound roadways and bridges, a clean environment, a robust education system- the [Chamber] Foundation is at the hub at assessing and assembling all that’s required to plan for those things.”

Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise: Featuring Kevin Hyde, Foley & Lardner LLP


Learn More About Education     Register for the Future of Florida Forum



In the latest edition of the Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise, Kevin Hyde, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP and interim president of Florida State College at Jacksonville, discusses workforce issues, including generational changes, the importance of skills development and training, and changes in workplace expectations.

“What we are seeing is an evolution of the types of skills that are needed within a community and how we as a state college and other training providers, provide those skills,” said Hyde. “Truly the way that people work is changing and that’s why the need for skills training is so important.”

Click Below to Listen to Kevin Hyde


What Will Talent Supply & Education Look Like in 2030?

Be sure to catch Kevin Hyde, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP and interim president of Florida State College at Jacksonville, at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum, September 26, 2018, as we discuss the future of talent and workforce in Florida.

Make Florida’s Workforce Globally Competitive

Learn More About Florida 2030 Continue the Conversation at the Future of Florida Forum

By: Doug Davidson, Market Executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Chair of the Florida Chamber Foundation

Published in the Tampa Bay Times

If you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop computer or the possibility of driverless vehicles roaming the streets of Tampa? Today’s world is dominated by innovation, guiding the creation of entirely new jobs and changing the way industries operate.

To compete in today’s global markets and build on our recent successes, Florida will need to think strategically about how to build success for 2030 and beyond. Florida’s workforce must be prepared for jobs that may not exist today and may require new skills and an entirely new way of thinking.

The Florida Chamber Foundation traveled to all 67 counties and heard from more than 10,000 Floridians as part of Florida 2030, a three-year, once-a-decade, blueprint for Florida’s future. Its findings echo the No. 1 concern of businesses — that in order to succeed, Florida must develop, attract and retain a globally oriented workforce.

The recommendations released at the foundation’s annual Learners to Earners Workforce Summit show that talent is the key currency of the future. Will Florida take advantage of the opportunities in the disruptions just around the corner or will we lag behind? The future depends on us making the right choice by investing in the young men and women who will lead us in the years ahead.

Get Involved

Visit to download the Drivers for Florida’s Future report, which covers all Six Pillars of Florida’s growth, and learn how you can get involved.

Florida 2030 Bottom Line Series: Your Story Matters in Shaping Florida’s Future


“Long-term thinking is really the only way that you can prepare for a world where disruption is continual.”

-Joe Tankersley, Strategic Futurist, Unique Visions


The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 Bottom Line Series discusses the future of Florida with visionary leaders. In this multi-part video series, Joe Tankersley, Strategic Futurist with Unique Visions, discusses the value of long-term thinking in order to build Florida’s future.

The Florida Chamber Foundation is engaging leaders in every part of the state to help write Florida 2030, the state’s next strategic plan.  Florida 2030 is the project that is looking at Florida’s future to ensure we are ready for global competition, prosperity and vibrant and sustainable communities. And it’s this long-term focus that Tankersley explains makes a difference.

“Long-term thinking is really the only way that you can prepare for a world where disruption is continual,” said Tankersley. “What you have to do is have that long term vison- where do you want to be in 2030, what do you want to see the state of Florida look like? Then you can come back from there and build the short-term tactics that will lead you constantly in that direction.”

Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of voices have shared their feedback on Florida’s future. According to Tankersley, it’s these stories that will help ensure our state succeeds.

“Story is really the way you change attitudes, inspire people and empower them,” said Tankersley. “The power of story, the ability to create scenarios of the future where I can see myself… suddenly are the kinds of tools that will inspire people to say ‘yea, I’m willing to go through the pain of change’.”

Now We’d Like You to Share Your Story With Us

Whether you have 5 or 15 minutes, click here to take a survey to share your thoughts with us. Share this link with those in your community and encourage them to share their stories as well.

The Florida Chamber Foundation is traveling around Florida to gather information from Floridians on the issues and opportunities that impact their community and residents. If you would like to attend a town hall in your area, click here.  If you are not able to attend, click here to give us your thoughts on what we should do today to ensure prosperity for Florida in the future.

To view Joe Tankersley’s first Florida 2030 Bottom Line Video on talent, click here.

Florida 2030 Bottom Line Series: For Cities of the Future, One Size Does Not Fit All



Joe Tankersley, Strategic Futurist for Unique Visions, discusses future trends and the opportunities for cities and communities to foster innovation and build a stronger economy.

“What we are seeing today, in large part because of digital disruptions, is a move towards individualization and personalization. Instead of thinking of a city as a whole, you think about smaller communities and that opens up new opportunities. Small towns now have the ability to cater to a new group of potential citizens. People are looking for that lifestyle that’s right for them.”

Florida 2030 is the project that is looking at Florida’s future to ensure we are ready for global competition, prosperity and vibrant and sustainable communities.  Do you believe Florida is prepared for the changes that are ahead? What are the future opportunities that we should plan for today?

Complete the online survey or send your thoughts to

Step by Step, Florida Prepares for 2030


Orlando Sentinel, January 29, 2017
By Michael Joe Murphy, Digital Conversation Starter

By 2030, Florida will add 6 million more residents. Will Florida be ready with enough jobs, and the essentials of clean water, energy capacity and enough roads and bridges? As the Florida Chamber Foundation leads a two-year research program into Florida’s future, the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board queried Carolyn Gosselin, the chief marketing and strategy officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, about what lies ahead.

Q: What led the Florida Chamber Foundation to launch its 2030 project?

A: Florida is changing. The world is changing. Florida needs to put the long term ahead of the short term, and the time to do that is now. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida 2030 initiative aims to provide a step-by-step strategy to make Florida more globally competitive, create economic opportunity for all, and will lead to vibrant and sustainable communities.

In 1989, the Florida Chamber Foundation launched its first Cornerstone: Foundations for Economic Leadership report, which looked at how Florida could compete in a global and changing economy. This first report analyzed many of the issues we are still focused on today and actually provided the first path toward Florida’s Six Pillars framework. But more than that, this report highlighted a crucial insight: Florida’s potential is great, but its future is fragile.
Today, Florida is the third-most populous state in the nation. If Florida were a country, we would be the 16th largest economy in the world. More than 1,000 people move to Florida each day. Will Florida be prepared for 6 million more residents and the 2 million more jobs we will need by 2030?

Florida’s top thinkers and futurists have once again come together to address these challenges head-on and developed a long-term plan, a road map so to speak, for the issues our state must solve in order to be a leader in the global economy, not just today, but in 2030 and beyond. There are gaps that need to be addressed for future success. For instance, how can we grow the jobs of tomorrow (many of which don’t exist yet)? How can we ensure our students are being trained today for tomorrow’s challenges? And how can we become a global leader by leveraging the infrastructure, quality of life and business climate for which we are known?

Florida 2030, a two-year, multimillion dollar research initiative, will be next in our well-known Cornerstone report series and will build on the recommendations of the last Cornerstone report which, since its release, has helped to shape policy and put a long-term lens to Florida’s future.


Q: Whom did the foundation ask to participate in the project, and why? How did they offer their input?

A: The Florida Chamber Foundation is in the process of traveling to all 67 counties and holding interactive town hall meetings with business leaders and citizens who are providing their input regarding how Florida can prepare for the future. Each region of Florida has specific needs and challenges. Who best to identify them and suggest solutions than the leaders and job creators of each region? Diverse opinions are essential. In fact, any Floridian can share his or her opinion via our online survey at


Q: What challenges for Florida’s future were revealed in the project? Were there any that took you by surprise?

A: To date, we have already engaged nearly 5,000 Floridians. Everyone with whom we have met is overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of Florida in general. However, when leaders begin looking at their region’s global competitiveness, their region’s path toward economic prosperity, vibrancy and sustainability, concerns arise. Everyone is confident Florida will continue to work hard to create jobs and lead the nation. But the real question for 2030 is: Can we create jobs in any given county and region that contribute to Florida’s global competitiveness? People are optimistic in general, but frustrated at their perception that public officials don’t always focus on the long term.


Q: What are some of the ways that Florida can meet these challenges?

A: There’s always more than one solution, but in our experience, we have found that a united business community is the best catalyst to change. The business community is creating jobs that have placed Florida at the forefront of the nation, with our state creating one in every nine jobs in America. Aligning resources so businesses and entrepreneurs are speaking with one voice and working under one plan will ensure Florida continues to build on the Six Pillars that make our state competitive: creating a talented workforce, diversifying our economy and creating high-wage jobs, ensuring Florida’s infrastructure is prepared for smarter growth, keeping Florida’s business climate competitive and focused on free enterprise, keeping our government efficient and ensuring we create a quality of life that welcomes visitors and residents alike.


Q: Politics in Tallahassee, especially with term limits, seem to be skewed toward the short term. How can you persuade leaders to make policy for the long term?

A: Good question. Really good question. There is an appetite across Florida for looking long and focusing on the needed policy outcomes instead of the politics. Businesses — all citizens for that matter — aren’t planning their futures in two- or four-year increments. They are thinking long-term and, by rising above the political fray, we can get there. Florida is changing in many ways, and while that can be daunting, it’s actually a good thing as it causes us to think about what we want to be as a state, as a leader in our country and the world.

One new online tool that voters are beginning to discover is the same tool we use at the Florida Chamber Foundation and it can be found at The scorecard measures everything from job creation to third-grade reading scores, from county-level high-school-graduation rates to poverty rates. When voters know the facts, our elected leaders will eventually focus on better outcomes because that’s what voters ultimately want from them.

We are going to be looking to our business and community leaders to help us take our message of long-term growth to the Capitol. The short-term fixes being addressed today are important, but if Florida is not focused on how we can do better 15, 20 or 50 years from now, we will fall into the trap of having to Band-Aid issues that arise.


Q: After completing this project, are you optimistic for Florida’s future?

The Florida Chamber Foundation has always been and will always be optimistic, and realistic, of Florida’s future. We have seen and measured our success. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, all 20 million Floridians can go right now to and see the numbers. Years ago, our education system was ranked near the bottom, just above Mississippi. Today, it is ranked one of the highest in the nation and we are graduating more students from high school and closing achievement gaps from early on in a child’s education. And, there are many more examples of success in infrastructure, economic development, innovation and more. So Florida has a positive foundation — a strong business climate that creates jobs, an ever improving educational system that is helping provide opportunities for all Floridians. But it’s important to not mistake that optimism for complacency. We must face our challenges head on and recognize them for what they are — opportunities for continuous improvement and success.

Faster Internet Speeds Can Result in Increased Economic Growth

A recent study showed that cities with fast internet speeds had 1.1 percent higher per-capita GDP than their slower counterparts. If you had a choice of locating your business or residence in a city where online activity took 9 seconds versus 30 minutes, which would you prefer?

In a world where global connectivity is key to personal and business communication, Florida is leading the charge to create new opportunities for Floridians. Many of Florida’s larger cities are investing in broadband network improvements. “Smart communities” like Lake Nona Medical City and Babcock Ranch are capitalizing on the latest in high-tech infrastructure to provide integrated digital communications, energy management solutions and enhanced productivity measures that improve the lives of residents and businesses. Will your community be able to compete in the new digital frontier?

Get Involved

Do you see changing technology as a disruption to Florida’s future? Take our Florida 2030 survey to share the issues that affect you and your community.

Florida Chamber’s Washington, D.C. Fly-In Centers Discussions on Trade, Jobs, Zika and More

Florida Chamber of Commerce members recently returned from a recent Washington, D.C.“Fly-In” supporting private-sector job creation, pushing back against bureaucratic red tape and emphasizing the importance of protecting Floridians from the Zika virus.

The Florida Chamber’s D.C. Fly-In included meetings with members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, including Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Vern Buchanan, and others. Additionally, the Florida Chamber Foundation presented Florida 2030, a two-year research program that is helping stimulate strategic thinking about Florida’s future, during a group presentation to the Florida’s Congressional Delegation.

It’s important for Florida to be represented at the federal level so that the voices of Florida job creators are heard. The Florida Chamber discussed the issues you said were important to your business, including: the Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule, the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule and Clean Power Plan, the Regulatory Accountability Act, transportation infrastructure, the Trans Pacific Partnership and more.

There are several ways to learn more about, and get involved with, the Florida Chamber’s efforts: