Frontiers of Democracy Conference 2019 Draft Agenda

This is a working draft (as of May 8, 2019), likely to change in detail. Tickets are still available but are running out.

Thursday, June 20

4:00-5:30 registration
Heavy hors d’oeuvres served

5:30 opening plenary

Welcoming comments by organizers.

“Short-takes” talks (10 minutes each, no Q&A)

  • Maya Pace, Lead for America, “Start Where You Live”
  • Jamila Michener, Cornell University, author of Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism and Unequal Politics, on “Health Equity and Democracy”
  • Wendy Willis, Deliberative Democracy Consortium and author of These Are Strange Times, My Dear: Field Notes from the Republic
  • Andi Crawford, the Director of Empowerment and Citizen Engagement for the City of Lansing, MI, “Love Your Block in #LOVELansing”

Discussions at curated tables of eight

Friday, June 21

8:00-9:00 breakfast served

900-10:30 am: Plenary Session: “Working at the Frontiers of Democracy”

1. What sense of duty, purpose or mission guides your life?
2. What issues at the “frontiers of democracy” interest and concern you most right now?
3. What do you not know enough about and hope to learn more about?
4. What issues and questions are you hoping that this conference will address?
5. What do you imagine that you will do after this conference if it goes well for you?

These questions will be discussed first by a panel at the head of the room and then by all participants, seated at assigned tables of eight. The panel:

  • Hajer al-Faham, a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Veronica del Carril, a youth program leader/arts educator from Argentina
  • Manuela Uribe Henao, Colombian working on public health interventions in El Salvador
  • Marianne Kwakwa, a PhD candidate in political science at Notre Dame
  • Jennet Kirkpatrick, political theorist at the University of Arizona, author of the books Uncivil Disobedience and The Virtue of Exit
  • Jamie Lee, Communication and Information Specialist, UNESCO/Cambodia, working on genocide memorials
  • Debilyn Molineaux, co-founder, The Bridge Alliance

10:30-10:45 break

10:45-12:15 concurrent sessions. Choose among:

  1. “Spectacle, Movement, Deliberation: Theoretical Perspectives on Democracy,” Samuel Schmitt, Aidan Kestigian, Vasiliki Rapti
  2. “Maintaining Meaningful Classroom Dialogue Even on Controversial Subjects,” Michael Fischer and Katina Fontes
  3. “BetaBlocks: Democratizing Manifestation of Technology in the Public Realm,” John Harlow and Eric Gordon
  4. “Renewing Democracy Through Renewal of Infrastructure,” Tom Flanagan, Craig Lindell, Wendi Goldsmith, Douglas Bruce, Carmen Sirianni
  5. “Love your Block,” Michael Hammett, Mary Bogle, Mauricio Garcia, and Andi Crawford
  6. “Fixing American Democracy from the Outside In – Storming the Hill,” with Represent.Us, American Promise, and Small Planet Institute, the Consensus Building Institute.

12:15-1:15 lunch
1:15-2:30 plenary activity: “How to be Helpful: Building Relationships for Social Impact” Led by Adam Seth Levine of research4impact. “How do you build successful working relationships with people who have diverse forms of expertise?”

2:30:2:45 break

2:45-4:15 Concurrent sessions. Choose among

1. “Amplify Impact, Build Bridges, and Connect Communities through Civil Discourse,” Cheryl Graeve, Robert Boatright, and Timothy J. Shaffer
2. “Democratizing Research for Environmental Justice and Health,” Chad Raphael, Doug Brugge, Amy Laura Cahn, Neenah Estella-Luna, Kenneth Geiser, and Charlotte Ryann
3. “How Interactive Simulations and Film Presentations Enhance Classroom Dialogue on Controversial Issues,” Joshua Littenberg-Tobias, GR. Marvez, and Jonathan Goodman Levitt
4. “Gaming and Civic Tech,” Libby Falck and Dmytro Potekhin
5. “Fixing American Democracy From the Inside Out – What’s Hot on the Hill!,” Jeff Edelstein and others
6. “Governance and Restorative Justice: The Role of Civic Groups in Problem-Solving in Schools and Drug Policy,” Nicole Kaufman, Sharyn Lowenstein, Dani O’Brien

4:15-4:30 break

4:30-6:00 Plenary Session led by Sam Novey and Clarissa Unger, “Recognizing Local Leadership to Build Better Strategies for Civic Renewal.”

(Time at tables for introductions and discussions)

Saturday, June 22

8-9 Breakfast

9 am-10:15: A choice between two sessions:

1. Panel: “Political Participation in the City and the Ballot Box.” with Tanya Gibbs, Benjamin Hernandez, Jonathan Collins, Tammy Esteves


2. “The Social Contract of America” (Interactive workshop) planned by Debilyn Molineaux


Plenary Discussion

1. What do you plan to do as a result of the conference?
2. Did your understanding of the frontiers of democracy shift?
3. What did you learn from someone in a different domain?
4. What are we committed to doing together?

These will be addressed first by a panel seated at the front of the room, and then by participants at assigned tables of eight. The panel is

  • Nakeefa Garay, urban studies PhD Student, Rutgers Newark
  •  Elizabeth Jabar, artist, Colby College
  • Liza Kostanyan, NGO leader, Armenia
  • Sterling Speirn, CEO, National Conference on Citizenship
  • Amber Wichowsky, political scientist, Marquette

11:30 What are we committed to doing together?

Report outs from tables, discussion.
Discussion of a follow up report

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.