Thursday, May 15
12:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m.
Registration and Welcome Reception
2:00 p.m.
Opening Plenary
2:00 p.m.
Opening Plenary
4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions: 1–12
4:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions: 1–12
Transforming City Government Using Data Analytics: Interactive Workshop Featuring Somerville, MA

This session will feature a “STAT” simulation tabletop exercise providing participants the opportunity to experience how real-time data is used to govern a city.


Challenges to US Global Leadership

The United States has been the predominant global power since the close of the second world war. With China and others rising in influence, what must the United States do to preserve its place in the world?


The Fed and Emerging Markets: Another Crash?

As the era of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve draws to an end, has the phase of the carry trade and other associated capital flows to emerging markets come to an end as well?  Should we fear a crash akin to the International Debt Crisis of 1982 or the East Asia crisis of 1997-98?  What sorts of countries are most vulnerable?


Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Climate

Economics is proving essential in addressing climate change and other
environmental threats by identifying the causes and consequences and designing the best policy response. This session will explain the economics and explore the potential of cap-and-trade and other market-based approaches to environmental protection and chart their implementation in diverse contexts, including Europe, India, and the United States.


Can Leadership Be Taught?

HKS was the first among professional schools to begin to tackle this question directly in 1983, with a leadership course that consistently wins the alumni award for most influential course. This session presents the groundbreaking conceptual framework and experiential teaching methods now emulated around the world.


Just Business: The Role of the Private Sector in Making Globalization Work for All

The “golden age” of corporate globalization is coming to an end. Populist resistance is rising. Resource nationalism is growing. Mercantilist policies are increasing. Host governments are restricting investor protections. Extended supply chains have become vulnerable. The HKS Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative not only studies these phenomena, it also works with governments, businesses, and NGOs to promote more socially sustainable forms of globalization. This session examines two successful cases: Chevron’s community engagement strategy in Nigeria and Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. 


Myths, Misconceptions, and Facts About US Health Care Reform

Explore the myths, misconceptions, and truths behind health care reform in the United States. Learn what the Affordable Care Act will and will not do, the relative importance of the key drivers behind cost growth—technology, prices, malpractice, obesity—and the opportunities for business and government to bend the cost curve.

Opportunity and Inequality: The Defining Challenge of Our Time?

Burgeoning economic inequality has forced its way to the top of our national agenda, and, even more ominously, social mobility and equal opportunity—the core of the American Dream—seem to be faltering. President Obama has termed these trends “the defining challenge of our time,” and leading Republicans have offered their own diagnoses and remedies. Is this problem really that big a deal and, if so, is our badly divided political system up to the challenge of solving it?

Pulling Back the Curtain on Teaching at HKS

This session will present a behind-the-scenes look at teaching and learning at HKS. Levy will lead a short demonstration, engaging participants through experimental and established teaching techniques, and invite discussion about the strategies, trade-offs, and experiments involved in educating public leaders in the 21st century.

Should We Fear a Cyber Pearl Harbor or 9/11?

In 2011, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned of an impending cyber Pearl Harbor.  Others, such as the British scholar Thomas Rid, have written books titled, Cyber War Will Not Take Place. What should we think?

Friday, May 16
8:30 a.m.
Breakfast and Concurrent Sessions: 13—22
8:30 a.m.
Breakfast and Concurrent Sessions: 13—22
Creating a Campus to Amplify the Mission

Join our executive dean for a glimpse of our current vision for a revitalized campus incorporating significant new elements.

Follies and Fiascoes: Why Does US Foreign Policy Keep Failing?

The United States is still the world’s strongest power, but the record of US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War contains many disappointments and several costly failures. This session will discuss possible explanations for these recurring setbacks, and we’ll consider how the United States could do better in the future.

Getting to Yes in Politics

How can we recognize the causes of the current polarization crisis in Washington and work toward solutions? This session will explore the potential of negotiation.

High-Achieving Students and Equality of Opportunity in the American Educational System

This session summarizes recent research on the high school and college choices of high-achieving, low-income students in the United States, and asks whether the current application process is consistent with the principle of equality of opportunity.

Innovation and Prosperity: Public Policy in the Age of Technological Abundance

Drawing from two new books in progress, Innovation and Its Enemies: Resistance to New Technology and Schumpeter’s Revenge: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Development, Juma will discuss innovations in technology.

MOOCs and Digital Learning: Opening the HKS Classroom to the World

After a brief introduction, the group will discuss how MOOCs, SPOCs, online modules, and other digital learning opportunities can and should affect teaching and learning, including both risks and opportunities. We will learn from the experience of our first HKS HarvardX course, but go beyond to think to the future.

Start-up Democracy

Like the technology revolution, the next democratic revolution may come from small operators emerging from unexpected quarters. Discuss start-up democracy efforts such as participatory budgeting, citizens’ assemblies, and online mobilizations.

Sustainable Prosperity on a Crowded Planet

Sustainability concerns—securing long-term improvements in peoples’ well-being on an increasingly crowded, connected, and environmentally stressed planet—have emerged as a defining challenge of the 21st century. In this session, we’ll review the threats and opportunities and discuss the responses being mounted by firms, countries, and the global community.

That Was Easy: Why Simple Matters

When things are complicated, people procrastinate and they make mistakes, sometimes with big consequences. Learn why complexity affects outcomes and how simpler processes can make a difference in a variety of policy domains.

The Wisdom of Crowds and the Stupidity of Herds

Many of the most important decisions in society – those made by most businesses, bureaus, and legislatures – are made by groups. In many circumstances, groups compound rather than ameliorate the difficulties individuals have when they make decisions.  Experiments will be conducted.  Practical advice for improving group decisions will be offered.

Why Does Government Not Work? Winning Back the Trust

The managerial fiasco surrounding the initial rollout of the Obamacare website turned a legitimate debate about the future of health care in an unexpected direction: is government competent to carry out big initiatives with big tax dollars? This session shares reflection and analysis from the largest and most popularly respected, but still very imperfect, branch of the federal government—the Department of Defense. Can competence win back confidence?


9:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions: 23—34
10:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions: 23—34
America’s Unconventional Energy Boom and How It Is Changing the Way the World Works

This session will look at innovations in the world of oil and gas and how they are changing America’s energy and foreign policy profiles.  It will include an interactive discussion about how changes in the energy realm are opening new opportunities and creating new challenges for US foreign policy.

Cellar to Stellar: Getting to Great Government in Poor Countries

Government reforms are common in many developing countries. Many reforms fail to make governments function better, however. In asking why this is so, we find that reforms are typically designed in a manner that does not foster effective change. Indeed, many reforms are structured to maximize resistance to change. So, how do you do reforms in a more effective manner that actually facilitates real change and improved government?

Helping Governments Innovate: The HKS Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab

Governments around the world are experimenting with a new way of procuring social services—pay for success contracts backed by social impact bonds.  Come hear from Kennedy School faculty, students, and alumni who have played significant roles in the development of this new tool.

Inequality: Past, Present, and Future

This session will explore why income inequality has risen, whether we should be worried by the increase, and what we could do about it if we were worried.

Leadership and Decision-making in the Face of Great Risk

How—and how accurately—do we assess the risks we face? How do we determine how much risk we want to take? And how do we match the one to the other? Using examples from extreme activities (mainly sports), we’ll explore the challenges of getting risk right.

Leadership and Stress

How does one’s position in an organizational hierarchy relate to stress hormone secretion? How do testosterone and other biological factors predict level of leadership attainment? How can the data best be applied to maximize organizational wellbeing? Come hear our latest findings and discuss the biological aspects of leadership.

Smart Policy Design: What Does It Take?

Across the globe, weak implementation of poorly designed policy slows economic growth, hinders individual wellbeing, and harms the environment. This session showcases a new approach – “smart” policy design – that creates an embedded researcher-policymaker relationship to support governance reform and deliver effective policy to improve the lives of the poor.

Tensions in Transparency: A Case and Conversations

This session will feature a case discussion about transparency in governing. Different kinds of transparency hinder and help both representation and accountability. In the context of a specific one-page case, we ask, “What would you do?”

Transforming Government Through Data

Big data is enabling government to forge new frontiers in effectiveness and responsiveness. These major changes are creating new forms of technology-rich governance.

Turning Values into Action: The Power of Public Narrative

Public narrative is a leadership practice that focuses on how to respond to urgent challenges by accessing hope over fear, empathy over alienation, and self-worth over self-doubt. Through narrative, individuals, communities, and nations learn to make choices, construct identity, and inspire action.

Voter Suppression Around the World

A quick, penetrating (and perhaps provocative) exploration of voter suppression in the United States and around the globe.  Why is it happening now?  How big is the problem?  How new is it?   What, if anything, can be done about it?  

11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
11:45 a.m.
Midday Plenary
11:45 a.m.
Midday Plenary
1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Concurrent Sessions: 35—45 Hosted by HKS research centers
1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Concurrent Sessions: 35—45 Hosted by HKS research centers
A Revolution in Politics? Social Media in China, Egypt, and the US

This discussion looks at the ways in which new social media have influenced politics. Has it revolutionized political participation and sparked the overview of dictatorships, or have established elites found ways to control the new communication sources? We look at cases from the US, the Middle East, and China.

Making Human Rights Work: On Torture, Trafficking, and Trials

A priority of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy is improving strategic thinking within the human rights community. Douglas Johnson, Siddharth Kara, and Kathryn Sikkink will show how their research is accomplishing this in three critical domains: torture, human trafficking, and through trials to hold human rights abusers accountable.

The Secret to Economic Growth: An Interactive Session Using the Online Atlas of Economic Complexity

For this session, Hausmann will provide an overview of economic complexity and the secret of growth. Then Escobari will introduce the Online Atlas of Economic Complexity and lead an interactive session with a group of CID fellows.

Insights from Great Leaders

This session will provide participants with insights from a number of inspirational leaders who have transformed the way HKS thinks about the topic of public leadership. Gergen will moderate the discussion, which will include time for interaction with role models for how to think about developing one’s own career in public leadership.

Off to the Races: Handicapping the Headliners for 2014 and 2016

Top journalists and political strategists gather at the IOP to explore midterm House and Senate races and predict the outcomes. They will also explore how independent expenditures, super PACs like “Ready for Hillary,” and the billionaire Koch brothers will affect the 2016 race for president. 

From Prison to Poverty

America's prisons have become a poverty trap. Learn how the country's most disadvantaged communities are held back by our prisons and jails, and what can be done to reverse the trend.

Sustainable Growth and Shared Prosperity

The United States is experiencing a period of sluggish growth and output, with employment levels well below potential. What policies should government pursue to stimulate growth? Where are the jobs going to come from to strengthen the middle class and put millions of unemployed back to work? This session will explore these questions and highlight research coming out of M-RCBG on some of society’s most intractable problems.

The Promise and Peril of the Internet

Technology connects us in radical new ways—constantly, instantly, globally. It can bring otherwise disparate groups together yet is capable of upending traditional institutions, from governments to the press to maybe even our families and relationships. This session will examine these revolutionary changes, both those for the better and their unintended consequences.

Taubman Center for State and Local Government

This session takes us around the world and into the mind of the modern city to reveal how cities think, why they behave in the ways that they do, and what wisdom they share with the people who inhabit them.

Closing the Gender Gap

Research on economic opportunity makes good policy across sectors, closing gender gaps and creating strategies to navigate uneven playing fields. The session will have a special focus on organizational design and human resource management, including negotiation, and will discuss interventions applied to Boston's 100% Talent Initiative. Boston is working with corporations and researchers to close its gender gaps—maybe your city can too?

2:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
Closing Reception
John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum