OZs Represent Big Sweeping Changes that Both Parties Support


Forbes OZ Summit Series: Steve Bertoni, VP and Senior Editor, Forbes

On May 21, we interviewed key opportunity zone players at the inaugural Forbes OZ Summit in Newark, New Jersey.  

Steven Bertoni is a Vice President and Senior Editor at Forbes – a century-old American media company that shares compelling content on finance, business, investment and technology. He also oversees the Forbes 30 under 30 franchise, an “annual encyclopedia” honoring 600 visionaries in 20 different categories that are all under the age of thirty. The franchise focuses on the ways in which young people are coming up with innovative solutions to challenges in a range of sectors, such as venture capital, law & policy, consumer technology, healthcare and energy.

Last year, the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Score was created to measure the generosity of billionaires. Jim Sorenson gained national attention at the one-day event for the Score's launch with a 20-minute panel introducing Opportunity Zones. Based on its success, Bertoni founded the Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit, a full-day national convening for key influencers working in the OZ space to share best practices for unleashing the potential of the incentive.

“The Summit really showed how many different leaders can be involved, but are also necessary to make this happen,” explained Bertoni. Bringing investors, philanthropists, politicians, and entrepreneurs together is essential not only for opportunity zones to realize their potential, but to also have transformative and lasting change. 

Forbes is particularly interested in opportunity zones because they represent “big, sweeping change that both parties support.” Bertoni believes the power of this incentive resides in its ability to stimulate market-based solutions to help the nation and because “everyone has a stake in this policy.” In short, there is both a moral and economic imperative to strengthening and investing in distressed communities across the nation.