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Solve 2012 Policy Expo: Putting Ideas Back to Work
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Solve 2012 Policy Expo: Putting Ideas Back to Work

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network will host the Solve 2012 Policy Expo in Washington, DC in order to highlight the innovative ways that young people are creating an impact in their communities while shaping the broader dialogue on how to move the country forward in 2012 and beyond.

6/21/2012 to 6/22/2012
When: June 21-22
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Where: Capitol Visitor Center & The Barbara Jordan Conference Center
Washington, District of Columbia 
United States

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Putting Ideas Back To Work
Wednesday, February 15, 2012




Featuring keynote speakers

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)


Tom Perriello, President and CEO

Center for American Progress Action Fund

On June 21-22, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network will host the Solve 2012 Policy Expo in Washington, DC in order to highlight the innovative ways that young people are creating an impact in their communities while shaping the broader dialogue on how to move the country forward in 2012 and beyond.

Hear from students who are designing alternative energy policies for universities, creating solutions for food waste, and determining ways to deliver critical health services to low income neighborhoods. These deeply engaged and proactively problem-solving young leaders are redefining civic participation for the largest and most diverse generation in our history. Please join us for two days of discussion, debate, and discourse with some of the brightest young minds of the Millennial generation as they share their innovative ideas for solving our greatest challenges.

More information on the event will be provided with registration. Space is limited. Please enjoy a special preview of the Expo here.                                      



Capitol Visitor’s Center, Congressional Room South

4:00-4:15 PM: Welcome remarks by
    Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., CEO of The First Tee
    Felicia Wong, CEO and President of the Roosevelt Institute
    Taylor Jo Isenberg, National Director of the Roosevelt Campus Network
4:15-4:35 PM: Andrew Kingsley and Joe Shure, localizing financial institutions
4:40-4:55 PM: Allie Niese, seeking to overhaul civics education
5:00-5:15 PM: Mawish Raza, revitalizing the city of Baltimore     
5:20-5:35 PM: Rajiv Narayan, democratizing the Farm Bill
5:40-5:55 PM: Emily Wazlak and Valiant Lowitz, designing Blueprints for Millennial Massachusetts and Michigan
6:00-6:30 PM: Keynote by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
6:30-6:50 PM: Drew Morrison, improving health and housing outcomes in New Haven
6:50-7:00 PM: Closing Remarks  

Barbara Jordan Conference Center, 1330 G Street NW

9:00-9:30 AM: Registration and Breakfast
9:30-9:45 AM:  Welcome Remarks
     Taylor Jo Isenberg, National Director of the RICN      
     Alan Smith, Program Director of the RICN
9:45-10:30 AM: From Super Power to Super Partner
    Moderator: Ben Lowe, Truman National Security Project
    Panelists: Erich Helmreich, New York University
    Ahmad Soliman, University of Michigan
    Reese Neader, Roosevelt Campus Network 
    Caitlin Howarth, Roosevelt | Pipeline Fellow
10:35-11:20 PM: Government for and by the Millennial America     
    Moderator: Taylor Jo Isenberg, Roosevelt Campus Network   
    Panelists: Dan Vicuna, Fair Elections Legal Network 
    Allie Niese, American University
    Ben Simon, University of Maryland  
    Marlena Luhr, American University  
11:25-11:55 PM: Michael Hais and Morley Winograd
12:00-12:30 PM: Keynote by former Rep. Tom Perriello (LUNCH)
12:30-1:15 PM: Partner Recognition & Networking
1:20-2:00 PM: Too Small to Fail: Increasing Financial Literacy at the 
    Local Level
    Moderator: Mike Konczal, Roosevelt Institute     
    Panelists: Andrew Kingsley, Fordham University
    Andrew Terrell, Warwick University
    Joe Shure, The Intersect Fund
    Vanessa Carter, Campus Microfinance Initiative
2:05-2:40 PM: Dynamics of Power
    Moderator: Carol McDonald, Planned Parenthood Federation of  
    Panelists: Erik Lampmann, University of Richmond
    Minjon Tholen, Roosevelt | Pipeline Fellow
    Mawish Raza, UMBC 
2:45-3:25 PM: Own Your Energy
    Moderator: Courtney Hight, Sierra Club      
    Panelists: Solomun Calvin-Jones, Appalachian State University
    Ashley Herzovi, Michigan State University
    Cory Connelly, Environmental Law Institute
3:30-3:45 PM: Leah Edwards, Arizona State University
3:50-4:40 PM: Paths to Change: Generating Concrete Impact
    Moderator: Ronnie Cho, The White House
    Panelists: Ben Simon, University of Maryland
    Adam Watkins, University of Michigan
    Anushka Das, Tulane University
4:40-5:00 PM: Closing Remarks 


From Super Power to Super Partner

U.S. military spending amounts to more than that of the next fourteen largest military spending countries combined. While military expenditures make up approximately 20% of the U.S. federal budget, foreign assistance and development make up 1%. Our budget speaks for itself; U.S. foreign policy is primarily dictated by defense. However, it must be questioned: is our current standing as a global police force enough to solve the evolving problems and conflicts in the international arena? If the country wants to continue to serve as a leader of the global system, how should its conception of its international responsibilities change? Further, what role should diplomacy and development play in U.S. foreign policy? As other global powers emerge, what type of relationships does the U.S. need to develop in order to establish itself as a global partner? Finally, what does it mean to be a super partner as opposed to a super power?


Benjamin Lowe, Advocacy Communications Director at the Truman National Security Project


Erich Helmreich, New York University – analyzes how relations between the U.S. and China can be improved
Ahmad Soliman, University of Michigan – researches Political Islam and economic development in Arab states
Caitlin Howarth, Harvard University – analyzes human security issues and humanitarian technology
Reese Neader, former Policy Director – reimagining our national security infrastructure


Government By and For Millennial America

Today, America faces some of its greatest challenges – deep economic crisis, climate change, underperforming educational and healthcare systems, international conflict – and it does so at a time of stifling political gridlock. Inevitably, the question arises: how can government work more effectively to address these challenges in the coming decades? How can it begin again to reflect the values and priorities that we as a nation hold dear? In response to these questions, much has been said on behalf of Millennials – the largest generation in American history, which will soon inherit the country – but little opportunity has been given to enable these young people to actively participate in the democratic process and express, debate, and innovate their visions of our future. On the one hand, as many youth in America have seemingly little interest or experience in government, it may be questioned what role Millennials should even have in current political discourse. On the other hand, if we believe that young people – however inexperienced or uninterested they might appear – can be a vast source of potential, waiting and needing to be tapped, how do we tap into it? How do we revitalize citizenship? How do we increase access to the democratic process to improve governance institutions of the 21st century? Further, what could be gained or lost from doing so?  


Taylor Jo Isenberg, National Director of the Roosevelt Campus Network


Dan Vicula, Staff Attorney with the Fair Elections Legal Network – mobilizes young people to protect their vote
Allie Niese, American University – seeks to overhaul civics education in Chicago public schools
Marlena Luhr, American University – educates and mobilizes students around campaign finance issues
Ben Simon, University of Maryland – innovates on food justice issues and how to incentivize non-profits to donate food


Too Small to Fail: Increasing Financial Agency at the Local Level

As the country struggles through a deep economic crisis, many individuals and communities have been uprooted and exposed to financial risks, costs, and challenges, including plummeting housing values, predatory lending, and limited access to capital and other financial services. Even if communities are able to invest and utilize financial services from large financial institutions, there is little chance that their investments will stay within the community or adequately respond to community needs. One solution that has emerged is the creation of a network of small, local financial institutions. Such a network would be simultaneously sustained by and sustain the communities of which they are a part, proving much more responsive to the needs of communities than "too big to fail” financial institutions. While such local institutions have proven to be very successful on a small scale, the question still remains whether these institutions can realistically take over the roles and responsibilities currently assumed by the giant financial institutions. And even if they can, should they?


Mike Konczal, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute


Andrew Kingsley, Fordham University – leads student work that supports Harlem-based credit union cooperatives
Andrew Terrell, Warwick University – revolutionizing how we think about home ownership
Joe Shure, The Intersect Fund – co-founder and Associate Director of the Intersect Fund
Vanessa Carter, Campus Microfinance Initiative – supports students who start and grow Campus MFIs
Darius Graham, DC Social Innovation Project - invests in innovative ideas for Washington, DC 


Dynamics of Power

The fight for equal rights has taken many forms in American history.  And every battle, from women's suffrage to ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’, has called on a unique group of allies to make progress.  Recent events, including the Defense of Marriage Act and the fight for Planned Parenthood funding, have forced many progressives to re-evaluate their traditional supporters.  Who are our allies in today's top policy fights, and how much do they matter?  With an increasing number of corporations supporting progressive causes as a part of their public relations agendas, who are reliable allies? Or, does it exemplify the changing social values of a coming of age generation? This panel will explore the complex relationships that ultimately drive progress, and how the dynamics of money and influence are impacting the way ideas are advanced.


Carol McDonald, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Planned Parenthood Federation ofAmerica      


Erik Lampmann, University of Richmond -- examines political action and movements for LGBT rights

Minjon Tholen, Roosevelt | Pipeline Fellow -- elevates the conversation on women's rights

Mawish Raza, UMBC -- works to revitalize the city of Baltimore

Leah Edwards, Arizona State University – examining the animal control policies shaping our communities


Own Your Energy

While many people think of our energy consumption as a primarily national issue, the new green-energy economy can be an issue intensely personal to individuals and their communities.  From solar panels on the tops of homes to changing light bulbs to CFLs, individual consumers are developing a new relationship with their own energy consumption that might have more of an effect on our nation than any top down energy policy. As individuals continue to grow more aware of the impact of their individual actions and more invested in their own consumption, a shift in patterns of behavior can be seen. This panel seeks to address what type of impact individuals, innovative ideas, and actions can have in driving towards a green energy economy. Even with a shift towards greener forms of power on the national and individual level, will this adequately address the energy question given the upward trajectory of our energy consumption? More fundamentally, how has our relationship to energy changed over the past decades and how can it evolve? 


Courtney Hight, Deputy Political Director at the Sierra Club


Solomun Calvin-Jones, Appalachian State University - pioneering a retrofit project in North Carolina
Ashley Herzovi, Michigan State University – advocates for shifting Michigan State’s energy portfolio to zero-coal
Cory Connelly, Environmental Law Institute – founded MIGrid, which promotes clean energy usage in Michigan


Paths to Change: Generating Concrete Impact

We all have ideas about what is wrong with the world today. We all have visions of how it could be made better for tomorrow. The difficulty is how we can transform today into tomorrow. This panel addresses the most fundamental question of the expo: how is change made? With so many pathways to change – from policy and legislation to non-profits to organizing – which way is most effective for successfully creating long-lasting impact? Each of our panelists today represents a unique pathway to change: Ben Simon established The Food Recovery Network and has a deep understanding of the ways non-profits operate and are incentivized; Adam Watkins crafts policy around higher education funding reform and is well acquainted with the power and limitations of policy; and Anushka Das has extensive experience in organizing and providing services to communities which enhance access to optometry care and health knowledge. Drawing on the personal experiences of our panelists, we seek to engage in an honest analysis and critique of the different ways that concrete impact is generated on individual, community, and national levels.


Ronnie Cho, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement


Ben Simon, University of Maryland – launched The Food Recovery Network, dedicated to addressing food injustices
Adam Watkins, University of Michigan – pioneering a set of policy proposals around higher education funding reform
Anushka Das, Tulane University – supports poor students in New Orleans school systems with free glasses and optometry care
Grant Heskamp, University of North Carolina -- improves mental health support at colleges and universities