Measuring What Matters for Miami’s Future

Opportunity Miami
Opportunity Miami
Published in
4 min readJul 21


This is the July 20, 2023 edition of the Opportunity Miami newsletter written by Matt Haggman, which we send every Tuesday. Click here to subscribe to get our weekly updates in your inbox.

It’s been said that “What gets measured gets managed.”

The biggest companies, fastest-growing startups, and most impactful nonprofits use metrics to focus efforts and measure progress. This includes tools like key performance indicators, referred to as KPIs, or objectives and key results, known as OKRs. Steve Jobs once wrote that OKRs are “the best way we’ve found to keep everyone focused on the same goals.”

But what if we employed OKRs not just for a company but for a community? More specifically, what if we created objectives and key results to build the future Miami we want?

That’s what we at Opportunity Miami are aiming to do next. To start, we’re focusing on our future workforce, and we’d love for you to be part of it.

In partnership with Opportunity Miami’s Academic Leaders Council, we’re launching an effort to establish community-wide Talent Development Goals. This includes detailing what talent development metrics to focus on, crafting goals, and tracking progress. The hope is that such attention stirs even more action.

The ALC is composed of educational leaders who, together, oversee the education of more than 500,000 students across the Miami metropolitan area. And now, they will also oversee the creation of community-wide talent development goals.

The ALC includes University of Miami President Julio Frenk, Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega, Florida International University President Ken Jessell, Florida Memorial University President Jaffus Hardrick, St. Thomas University President David Armstrong, Barry University President Mike Allen and Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools Jose Dotres.

The ALC works alongside our Opportunity Miami Co-Chairs: Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, American Airlines’ VP for Miami, Caribbean and Latin America Juan Carlos Liscano, and CareerSource South Florida CEO Rick Beasley.


Over the next six months, due to the generous sponsorship of CareerSource South Florida, we will develop talent development benchmarks. But this is where your input is key. An initial question is determining the key metrics to focus on. Indeed, to “measure what matters,” as venture capitalist John Doerr described in his book — which is called “Measure What Matters” — outlining how Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation all employ OKRs.

As one example, Lumina Foundation, among the biggest educational funders in the US, has identified the percentage of the adult population with a quality credential beyond high school — say, an associate’s degree — as the key measurement to hone in on and improve upon.

Lumina set a goal of 60 percent of working Americans achieving post-high school educational attainment by 2025. Across the country, the current number is 53.7 percent. Meanwhile, Florida is 52.5 percent, and Miami-Dade County is 44.7 percent.

“Quite frankly, that’s not good enough for the state’s largest population center and its engine of opportunity and wealth creation,” said Lumina CEO Jamie Merisotis, who spoke at an Opportunity Miami ALC luncheon last Fall.

Your input on what measurements matter would really help. You can reach us by email at


This is another step in the evolution of Opportunity Miami.

Started 18 months ago, our mission is to develop a platform that imagines the Miami of 2040 and helps our community build it. (We hit upon 2040 because that’s roughly when the child today will enter the workforce.) Each week we’ve sought to elevate the best ideas and solutions, showcasing the people and companies solving problems critical to our future, along with convening and engaging across the community by bringing together leaders, stakeholders, and residents.

Added to this will be setting key objectives and measuring our progress in areas critical to our economic future. Our thesis is that Miami’s economic future hinges upon doing three things well: driving innovation and entrepreneurship, dramatically increasing talent development and inclusion, and leading in the transition to a sustainable, net-zero economy.

If done right, the Miami of 2040 can be one of the leading centers of innovation and startup activity in North America; the global hub for climate tech companies and solutions; and — in a community where 54 percent of the population was born outside the US — the most uniquely diverse, skilled regional workforce in the western hemisphere.

It’s all possible. But it starts with being clear about where we want to go and measuring progress. And, with the ALC, we’ll dive first into the development of community-wide Talent Development Goals. We hope you’ll join us in this effort by sharing your thoughts on what we should measure in building the Miami we want.


As ever, we would love to hear your thoughts on efforts of any kind focused on Miami’s future. If you have a company or entrepreneur to suggest or an idea to share, email us at We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our Interviews and On Site video series featuring leaders shaping Miami’s future. Please also follow us on our social media channels. If you were forwarded this newsletter, you can subscribe by clicking here. And if you are new to Opportunity Miami, you can learn about our mission and work here.

Hope to hear from you.

- Matt