America This Week Special Report: The Harris Poll Live at The Milken Institute Global Conference

Special Report: Milken Institute and Harris Poll Launch The Fifth Edition of The Listening Project

Good morning from Los Angeles, where we released the fifth annual 2024 Milken Institute-Harris Poll Listening Project. Six months of effort went into personal interviews of CEOs and business, government, civic, and non-profit leaders, followed by a Harris Poll survey of over 1,400 CEOs, business leaders, and citizens to explore their perceptions, strategies, and priorities for unlocking future growth in America.

To download the 2024 Listening Project report, please click here

In our panel yesterday with Jianwei Dong (SK Siltron CSS), Gilman Louie (America’s Frontier Fund), Scott Jacobs (Generate Capital), and Tracy Palandjian (Social Finance), we discussed the exciting potential for a concerted alignment of entrepreneurs,  policy, public/private partnerships, and the marketplace to de-risk socially minded businesses and align incentives that can unleash innovative and sustainable solutions at scale.

Harris Poll CEO, John Gerzema, and CSO, Libby Rodney, at The Milken Global Conference May 7, 2024

Leaders tell us that the timing for a new wave of American economic competitiveness is vital. Today, U.S. business leaders face significant geo-economic challenges as they navigate economic instability, tech disruptions, and societal shifts.

The Milken Institute-Harris Poll Listening Project, 2024

Yet despite the complex challenges, there is remarkable unity of shared optimism. As Bloomberg reported on our data, (81%) of business leaders believe the U.S. economy is strong, and a similar number (84%) are optimistic about their industry’s future and their company (81%). In contrast, however, only (40%) of Americans believe that the economy is strong. And (72%) of Americans agree that “economists may say things are getting better, but we’re not feeling it where I live.”


The collective challenge is to bring consumers along. An overwhelming (91%) of leaders advocate for a concerted bipartisan effort to bolster U.S. competitiveness in the global markets. Many levers exist, from subsidies and tax credits to “flexible federalism” to enhance public/private partnerships and capital allocation with longer time horizons. 

The most “purple word” is resilience: Cultivating resilience across society is crucial for managing disruptions and shaping the future. An overwhelming (89%) of business leaders concur that “it is important that America can create resilient policies and solutions to navigate disruptions.” Likewise, (86%) of Americans say, “I want a more resilient America that leads the world in its capacity to navigate and handle crises.” Nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe securing America’s global leadership position in the next four years will tangibly improve their communities (79%), their job security (78%), their life overall (78%), as well as the U.S. overall (78%).

We found that resilience is thriving at the local level. Business leaders share the conviction that place-based innovation can rebuild institutional trust (91%), create new manufacturing systems (90%), and rebuild political trust (88%). Americans echo this sentiment, agreeing that “business leaders should work more closely with government leaders to solve our social challenges” (76%). Seven in ten (71%) Americans say, “Innovation is bubbling up in local communities, but national media is missing this story.” 

There is much more to discuss, so make sure to check out the full results. 

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 3rd to 5th, among a nationally representative sample of 1,973 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 3rd to 5th, among a nationally representative sample of 1,973 U.S. adults.


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