The Bay Area would benefit from thinking more like a city-state and less like a region within a dysfunctional state, futurist Paul Saffo writes in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle.

Noting that the Bay Area's economy would be the 25th largest in the world if it were an independent country (which would put it ahead of Austria, Denmark, and even Taiwan), Saffo writes that local-based pragmatism would result in better economic management than the state currently provides. He argues that "a sudden outbreak of city-state pragmatism might shock Sacramento out of its ideological deadlock and into a serious exploration of how to effect essential but unpopular solutions – from service cuts and tax increases to a rewriting of our state Constitution."

You can read his entire essay here.

The ever-provocative Saffo will be on a high-powered panel at The Commonwealth Club tomorrow night (July 13) that includes Laura Tyson (an economic advisor to President Obama), DBL Investors Managing Partner Nancy Pfund, Robert Klein (governing board chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine), former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg – all moderated by KPIX-TV anchor Sydnie Kohara. The event is part of the Chevron California Innovation Series at The Commonwealth Club.

For details and to order tickets, visit The Commonwealth Club's web site.