Report From 2008 National Governors' Association Meeting
Leslie Bar-Ness, manager, State Government Affairs, Symantec: Monday, July 28th, 2008 | 10:00 am
On any given day, Symantec's state government relations team finds itself engaged in the minutia of combing through pieces of legislation dealing with data security and breach notification. Recently, however, I had the wonderful opportunity to engage in policy making that deals with great and innovative ideas at the National Governors' Association meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I joined nearly half of our nation's governors in the birthplace of one of the most innovative ideas in politics, a democratic republic. One of the ideas that the governors referenced time and again was that the states serve as laboratories for democracy — and to paraphrase a little bit — innovative ideas in policy and governance.
The most famous and inspiring former governor at the conference was Saturday's keynote speaker, President Bill Clinton. The president was warmly welcomed by the governors and invited guests and he addressed the governors with his perspective of our nation's most pressing concerns: national identity, income inequality and energy. One key point that President Clinton made, and many Governors echoed throughout the conference, was that technology is essential for addressing these issues. Watch
It became clear that our government leaders are relying on the high tech industry to address the growing concerns about the cost of energy and the impacts of climate change. There was a strong consensus on the need to reduce consumption without negatively impacting mobility or productivity. Many of the governors whose states enjoy natural but non-renewable resources, such as oil or coal, are in favor of fully exploiting those resources. They would like more drilling and more mining but utilizing advanced technology to do so in a clean, safe and efficient manner.
As I participated in the proceedings over the several days, I was excited about the role that Symantec can assuredly play in partnering with governors and their chief information officers to work within these state laboratories to help them substantially reduce their energy use. Technology has a role to play and with our software-based solutions for data center management as well as desktop management, we have quietly innovated and brought to market the technological solutions that the governors are seeking. Our state government relations team will be reaching out to these governors to discuss true partnerships.