2022 Ideas Summit

Philadelphia, PA | May 23-24

We were excited to be back in person for our signature Spring Event, our Annual Ideas Summit. Taking place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, participants shared solutions to address issues and inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and that must be addressed to realize the American dream of shared prosperity, from access to broadband and quality education, to affordable housing and more, including how best to leverage historic federal funding to ensure real and lasting change. The event also included discussions of two existential crises facing our country – climate change and protecting democracy.
See below for livestream, agenda, and other event information!

Monday’s Plenaries

The National Political Landscape

Maria Panaritis moderated a discussion with pollster David Shor on issues, trends, and the outlook for the Democratic Party in 2022 and beyond. Shor emphasized the fact that,

“Politics isn’t physics. If we want things to go differently than ‘10 or ‘14, we have to do things differently than we did in ‘10 or ‘14.

Creating a Clean Energy Economy

NewDEAL Leader New Hampshire Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka led a panel discussion on creating a sustainable future by investing in building a resilient economy with NewDEAL Leader Maryland Senator Will Smith, and Philadelphia Energy Authority President and CEO Emily Schapira, as well as Cristina Garcia at the Building Electrification Institute, who shared,

“Equity shouldn’t be an afterthought. Low income communities need to be at the forefront of the clean energy transition. If they aren’t, there could be huge consequences.”

Adapting, Thriving, and Innovating in the New Economy

Anne Bovaird Nevins, who leads the PIDC (Philadelphia’s Economic Development Corporation) shared a model for economic revitalization from the Philadelphia Navy Yard, talking about the effort’s focus on innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship and equity.

“It’s vital to focus on the fabric of our community — the small businesses and entrepreneurs that were the most devastated during the pandemic.”

America’s Role in the World

NewDEAL Leader County Commissioner Josh Maxwell from Chester County, PA introduced Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, who said “the stakes and seriousness of our current predicament could not be any higher” with our democracy under threat at home and authoritarians seeking to increase their power around the world. Amid these troubling times, she emphasized:

“We need servant leaders who can deliver for the American people, from trash collection to public schools. You all are the vanguard of our future.”

Tuesday’s Plenaries

Closing the Digital Gap

NewDEAL Alum Andy Berke, Special Representative for Broadband at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, urged policymakers to prepare for their vital role in implementing the historic investments from the bipartisan infrastructure law to make high-speed internet available for all Americans.

“If you are not looking at broadband issues in your state, today is the day to start.”

Ensuring an Equitable Recovery

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn moderated a lively discussion between former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and NewDEAL Leader Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. They mayors discussed the key role local policymakers play in advancing equity and their advice on how to be an effective leader, with Stoney highlighting the opportunities created by the American Rescue Plan,

“Be fearless, be brave, and make decisions. The bottom line is that you have to love people and help people. We used our federal relief dollars to really reimagine how we bake equity into everything we do, this has been our New Deal.”

The Future of Democracy

We closed the event with a sobering discussion on the threats to our democracy. County Commissioner Ken Lawrence, a co-chair of the NewDEAL Forum’s new Democracy Working Group, led a conversation with Daniella Ballou-Aares, founder of the Leadership Now Project, and David Pepper, author of Laboratories of Autocracy, who shared,

“We need to focus on the state level, because that is where the future of our democracy will be decided.”

Watch Monday’s Plenaries

Livestreaming on Monday, May 23 at 12:00-2:00 PM and 3:30-4:30 PM (all times Eastern)

Watch Tuesday’s Plenaries

Livestreaming on Tuesday, May 24 at 9:00-9:30 AM and 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (all times Eastern)


12:00-1:15 pm

Opening Lunch

Welcome remarks from Debbie Cox Bultan, NewDEAL CEO; NewDEAL Leader Philadelphia Councilmember-at-Large Derek Green; and Bret Perkins, Comcast

The National Political Landscape

with David Shor, Blue Rose Research; moderated by Maria Panaritis

1:15-2:00 pm

Creating a Clean Energy Economy

co-hosted by Grist Magazine

moderated by NewDEAL Leader New Hampshire Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka;
with panelists Cristina Garcia, Building Electrification Institute & 2021 Grist Fixer; Emily Schapira, Philadelphia Energy Authority; and NewDEAL Leader Maryland Senator Will Smith

2:15-3:15 pm

Breakout Sessions

Housing America, co-led by Martha Galvez, NYU Housing Solutions Lab, and NewDEAL Leader New Castle County, DE Executive Matt Meyer

Democracy Working Group Meeting, co-led by NewDEAL Leaders Nevada Assemblymember Sandra Jauregui and Montgomery County, PA Commissioner Ken Lawrence

Data & Government, co-led by Shelby Kohn, Maycomb Capital; NewDEAL Leader Albany, NY City Auditor Dorcey Applyrs, and NewDEAL Alum former Congressman Ben McAdams

3:30-4:00 pm

Adapting, Thriving, and Innovating in the New Economy

remarks by Anne Bovaird Nevins, PIDC Philadelphia, with introduction by Jamie Fleet

4:00-4:30 pm

America’s Role in the World

remarks by Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, with introduction by NewDEAL Leader Chester County, PA Commissioner Josh Maxwell

6:30 pm

Special Dinner Program

by invitation only  |  location upon RSVP

8:30 am

Breakfast opens

9:00-9:30 am

Closing the Digital Gap

remarks by and Q&A with NewDEAL Alum Andy Berke, US Department of Commerce, NTIA Special Representative for Broadband

9:45-10:45 am

Breakout Sessions

College and Career Pathways, co-led by Jennifer Ellis, All4Ed; Stan Litow, Duke University; and NewDEAL Leader Connecticut Senator Will Haskell

Health Equity, co-led by Steve Fera, IBX; John Steele, Eli Lilly; and NewDEAL Leaders Beaverton, OR Mayor Lacey Beaty and Maryland Senator Antonio Hayes

Leveraging Federal Instructure Dollars for Clean Energy & Broadband, co-led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Third Way; Leslie Richards, SEPTA; NewDEAL Alum former Texas Representative Mark Strama; and NewDEAL Leaders New Bedford, MA Mayor Jon Mitchell and Norfolk, VA Councilmember Andria McClellan

11:00-11:45 am

Ensuring an Equitable Recovery

moderated by Kate Bahn, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; with panelists Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and NewDEAL Leader Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney

11:45 am-12:30 pm

The Future of Democracy

moderated by NewDEAL Leader Montgomery County, PA Commissioner Ken Lawrence, with panelists David Pepper, author of Laboratories of Autocracy: A Wake-Up Call from Behind the Lines; and Daniella Ballou-Aares, Leadership Now Project

Monday, May 23

Welcome Remarks – 12:00 PM

The National Political Landscape – 12:15 PM

No Result Found

Creating a Clean Energy Economy – 1:15 PM

co-hosted by Grist Magazine

Breakout Sessions – 2:15 PM

Housing America

Democracy Working Group Launch

Data & Government

Adapting, Thriving, and Innovating in the New Economy – 3:30 PM

No Result Found

America’s Role in the World – 4:00 PM

Tuesday, May 24

Closing the Digital Gap – 9:00 AM

Breakout Sessions – 9:45 AM

College & Career Pathways

Health Equity

Leveraging Federal Infrastructure Dollars for Clean Energy & Broadband

Ensuring an Equitable Recovery – 11:00 AM

The Future of Democracy – 11:45 AM

No Result Found

Breakout Sessions #1 – Monday, May 23, 2:15-3:15 PM

Democracy Working Group Launch – Room 18-A

Join us for the launch of the NewDEAL Forum Democracy Working Group, an initiative to bring together state and local leaders with outside experts and develop a set of recommendations for policymakers in every part of state and local government to strengthen our democracy. The group will share information about what is happening on the ground, and examine and recommend options to defend democracy from attacks on voting rights, expand and secure access to the ballot box and ensure all votes are fairly counted.

Housing America – Room 18-D

Before COVID-19, America’s housing system was far from perfect. The pandemic has magnified affordability challenges that are driving inequalities in wealth and in the ability of Americans to thrive in today’s economy. With the infusion of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan, states and localities have an unprecedented opportunity to invest in solutions, and, as reports from NewDEAL and other organizations have found, housing is one of the most popular uses of the ARP state and local recovery funds. This session will focus on how leaders can achieve the greatest impact with these funds, lessons from across the country, and best strategies for both ensuring equitable access to affordable mortgages and rents as well as ending homelessness.

Data and Government – Room 18-F

The pandemic has provided a case study in the abundant data available to leaders to measure societal trends, but also the importance of using data smartly to guide decision-making. One opportunity for government to ensure data and outcomes drive good policy is through the Pay for Success model, which involves testing and advancing promising and proven interventions. This session will focus on ways to measure the impact of government initiatives and on strategies, such as Pay for Success, that align public spending with approaches that are proven to get results — from reducing homelessness to increasing access to high-quality child care to improving health outcomes.

Breakout Sessions #2 – Tuesday, May 24, 9:45-10:45 AM

College and Career Pathways – Room 18-A

The pandemic has accelerated changes in our economy that underscore the importance of succeeding in post-secondary education for economic success, whether that’s a traditional four-year degree, an associate’s degree, or a high-quality certificate program. Yet, we have seen a dramatic decline in college-going rates among American students since 2019, especially among low-income students. This session will focus on the ways to better align our education system, especially in high school, to the workforce and to ensure that students leave high school with not only a diploma, but also workplace experience and a jumpstart on, or even completion of, the next steps in their educational journeys.

Health Equity – Room 18-D

The impacts of COVID-19 paint a startling picture of who has suffered most from this virus, with Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans experiencing “higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death compared to White people, particularly when accounting for age differences.” Recognizing the imperative for this moment to catalyze progress in addressing inequities in health outcomes, this session will bring together public and private sector leaders for a discussion about the roles and responsibilities of states, localities, and industry, and on examples of investments being made by the public and private sectors to identify solutions.

Leveraging Federal Infrastructure Dollars for Clean Energy & Broadband – Room 18-F

The nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Biden last November relies significantly on states and localities to achieve its goals, particularly in two areas that demand urgent progress. The legislation represents America’s largest-ever investment in both clean energy infrastructure to combat climate change and high-speed internet access to close the digital divide. Recognizing the importance of making the most of these opportunities, this session will help participants understand key parts of the law and address best practices for policymakers as they develop plans required by the federal government for how the money will be spent.