Business leaders, experts and elected officials will gather starting Monday morning to discuss Florida’s future at the annual Future of Florida Forum hosted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
The forum is Monday and Tuesday at the Omni Orlando Resort, 1500 Masters Blvd. in ChampionsGate. More than 300 participants are expected to attend. Registrations will still be accepted on site that morning.
The opening session focuses on educating the future workforce, with keynote speaker Devin Fidler, research director of the Institute for the Future, followed by a panel Chancellor Marshall Criser III of the State University System of Florida, Ed Moore, president of the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF), and Chancellor Madeline Pumariega of the Florida College System.
Chamber spokeswoman Edie Ousley said she expects results to be shared from the group’s Small Business Index Survey, which gauges the health of small businesses in Florida, such as whether they anticipate hiring in the next six months. Results from the latest national and state political polls also will be shared.
Other guests planned for Monday include Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity chief Jesse Panuccio, state Reps. Eric Eisnaugle and Kathleen Passidomo, and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
The event includes the #BringABook initiative, a partnership between the Chamber and Volunteer Florida where organizers ask business, community and elected leaders attending the forum to bring new or gently used elementary-school-level books.
Volunteer Florida and the foundation will collect the books at the registration area.
City Year Orlando, which deploys more than 60 AmeriCorps members to serve in seven Orlando schools, is the recipient organization for the books. City Year will then distribute books to students at Catalina Elementary School, who can take them home to start building their own library.
“The annual event provides an opportunity for participants to identify issues and build partnerships to make vibrant communities, create high-wage jobs and expanded opportunities for global competitiveness,” according to the news release.