2022 Future Summit
Event date: July 29, 2022
- Friday, July 29, 20222:00 PM Sunday, July 31, 20223:00 PM
- Millennial Action Project1701 Rhode Island Avenue NorthwestWashington, DC, 20036United States (map)
“I’m excited about the work Millennial Action Project does to bring people together… Welcome to our state.” Governor Jared Polis opened 2022 Future Summit, the nation’s largest bipartisan gathering of young state legislators with a keynote address. From July 29th to 31st, nearly 50 legislators from all across the country came together to affirm their belief in collaborative policymaking and express their intention to work across the partisan divide to create a more functional democracy. They arrived in Denver, Colorado for the sixth annual Future Summit hosted by Millennial Action Project on the campus of Colorado University Denver’s School of Public Affairs.
Friday night started off with an evening reception at the Gates Family Foundation. The Rocky Mountain views from the downtown rooftop paired with a cool breeze, cocktails, and horderves made it a perfect evening for developing relationships and building friendships. So much of the work of bipartisan legislating relies on trust, and the friendships legislators forge through the Future Caucus Network lays the foundation for a productive working relationship once legislators return to their statehouses.
The legislators in attendance represent a cross-section of the more than 1,600 Millennial and Gen Z state legislators within MAP’s State Future Caucus Network (SFCN). The SFCN is comprised of 31 states and creates space for bipartisan policymaking and dialogue among leaders committed to working towards innovative and future-focused policy.
Programming kicked off on Saturday morning at CU Denver – School of Public Affairs. The day began with an intriguing plenary session on the Cuban Missile Crisis led by Keith Allred, the Executive Director of National Institute for Civil Discourse. Here, he made the unique connection between the historical event and what collaborating through conflict can look like.
Next, Lisa V. Gale, Chief Program Officer at StoryCorps shared an inspiring lesson on how to build connections and relationships with others while still having disagreements. MAP’s 2021 Rising Star Award winners, Rep. Brandon Woodard (D-KS) and Rep. Devin Carney (R-CT), moderated the discussion and talked about their own personal experiences on the topic – highlighting difficult disagreements that they have overcome to create forward-looking policy outcomes.
“You can’t hate up close. Reach across the aisle. There is potential there. In order to advance your agenda, you need to understand the whole person you could be working with. ”
After an intimate chat between Caryl Stern, Executive Director of the Walton Family Foundation, and moderators Colorado Rep. Dylan Roberts and Arkansas Rep. Aaron Pilkington, legislators took their energy and excitement into policy breakouts. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in the following breakouts:
- Future of Work
- Energy and the Environment
- Strengthening Democracy
- Criminal Justice Reform
These breakout sessions were led by legislators who are leaders and policy champions in their field. Attendees were able to learn about successful legislation from other states, trade insights on passing legislation, identify solutions to legislative obstacles, and highlight notable consensus on each of the policy areas.
To end the day, Dr. Janine Davidson, President of MSU Denver and Dr. Paul Teske, the Dean of CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs led a discussion on what they are seeing from young people at their universities and their hope for the future.
“America is trying to do something that’s never been done before: build the largest, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy in the history of the world. That is a moonshot. But we’ve set ambitious goals before, and met them.
Layla Zaidane gave her thanks to the attendees and all partners, and then rallied the legislators for MAP’s call to action: to activate young leaders to bridge the partisan divide and transform American politics. Legislators came away with a bolstered commitment to MAP’s mission of strengthening democracy through collaborative governance and tangible ideas to apply in their communities.
Earlier Event: June 23
Later Event: September 13
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