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Bay Area Economic Council

Sherine Mitto
GR 501: Organization Behavior and Development
International College of the Cayman Islands


On Wednesday, 9th November 2016 at approximately 9:00 am, the President, Director and
Chief Executive Officer of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, Dr. Sean Randolph
presented a PowerPoint presentation on The Bay Area Innovation Systems: Collaborations with
Europe to the International College of the Cayman Islands students. During this presentation, Dr.
Randolph highlighted how San Francisco became the global leading innovation hub, provided an
overview of the Silicon Valleys innovative economy and discussed the business objectives of his
place of employment (R. S. Randolph, personal communication, November 9, 2016). First a
foremost, I learned that the Bay Area is comprised of 9 counties, including San Francisco which
is the tech savvy home for big businesses like Google and Apple. According to Pedersen, San
Francisco bloomed overnight as a technology frontier for many digital-age miners and today the
Bay Area is leading the way for new innovations (Pedersen, n.d.).
Being the nations leading innovation center, gave purpose to the Bay Area Council
Economic Institute as its initiatives and mission are to advocate for visionary companies, develop
solutions for challenges they face, inform society on the opportunities and promote collaboration
for the region (R. S. Randolph, personal communication, November 9, 2016). This business
model was far from traditional as this organization sought to address matters that affected the
economy and policies of the Bay Area, specifically geared towards technology and innovations
ventures. Dr. Randolph explained that the Bay Area Council Economic Institute focused on
significant issues or matter such as solving the housing affordability crisis, public-private
partnership opportunities and building gender equity in the workplace just to name a few, where
they provide fact based opinions and information on the matter aiming to find a solution that
worked for all (R. S. Randolph, personal communication, November 9, 2016 and Bay Area
Council, 2016). Due to that fact, the organization thrived on collaborative research with federal


laboratories, private and corporate institutions and even universities that assisted them with factbased analyses which identified challenges and opportunities confronting the area. Such
initiatives placed the Silicon Valley on the map as it blossoms both economically and culturally
as many start-up businesses, especially technology companies nation-wide and internationally
relocated to the Bay Area.
It was interesting to learn that Bay Area Council Economic Institution was comprised of
three hundred companies and people from various sectors ranging from information technology
engineers to scientist and financial advisors (R. S. Randolph, personal communication,
November 9, 2016). But, the great shock was to hear that Fifty-two percent of the companies
established in the Silicon Valley were international or immigrants, twice the national level as
there were limited barriers to entry. For such a unique organization with an open initiative of
working with various companies, I was amazed to hear that there was a minimum of no
government restrictions on its business model as the organization advocated international trade,
competitiveness, and risk-taking ventures. And then Dr. Randolph highlighted that the idea of
failure was not a deterrent for companies to pursue its business objectives, even if that
probability of failure was high as such action was viewed as an opportunity to grow (R. S.
Randolph, personal communication, November 9, 2016).
From my few years alive, I have thought that life was a gamble and unexpected
opportunities could arise from taking a risk, so hearing that philosophy struck a chord with me.
Unfortunately, such business initiatives are not present in the Cayman Islands society as politics
and government play a significant role in all business ventures including what companies are
allowed do. However, I believe such council or business model would be beneficial to the
Cayman Islands as the concept of sharing or collaborating with experts within various field


brings hopes for many issues or challenges faced here in the Cayman Islands because this
committee or council is created of unbiased professional who have one common goal, which is to
find a solution; and sadly this concept or model is foreign to the people in charge of my country
as we witness opposing political parties ridiculing one another based on personal opinions and
not facts. And according to Robbins & Judge (2014), the Cayman Islands leaders are seen as
non-risk takers as they are afraid or unwilling to take chances, and I hope one day this changes, if
not for my generation, for the generation of my future children as other countries are advancing
without us (Robbins & Judge, 2014).



Bay Area Council. (2016). San Francisco History. Retrieved 10 November
2016, from
Pedersen, E. (n.d.)

San Francisco history. Retrieved

10 November

2016, from.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2014). Essentials of Organizational Behavior (12th ed.). New
Jersey, New Jersey, United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc.


Appendix I: A photo of the office sign and the presenter, Dr. Randolph.

Source: Photos were taken by Sherine Mitto