St. Petersburg College’s New Ideas Conference, with honorary host and moderator Congressman David Jolly, will bring together national, state and local leaders to discuss and offer innovative solutions to some of the most pressing policy issues facing the United States and Pinellas County. The daylong event will include panel discussions on the topics of education, budget reform, energy and the environment, and transportation.
“This is an opportunity for our community to engage in a productive conversation with some of the brightest minds on these topics,” said Congressman Jolly, R- St. Petersburg. “This type of open dialogue is critical to building consensus that can lead to real solutions for our most difficult challenges.”
The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, in the Digitorium, UP 160, at SPC’s Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. The conference is presented by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions (ISPS), and sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, Bright House Networks and Boston Capital Leasing. The event is open to the public and admission is free, but seating is limited. Registration is required.
State Sen. John Legg, chairman of the K-12 state Senate Education committee; Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools; and Tonette Salazar, State Relations Director of the Education Commission of the States, are among the panelists who will discuss the topic “Revolution in Learning: What the Future Holds for Public Education.”
Panelists discussing budget reform will include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office; Dr. Joshua Gordon, Policy Director of the Concord Coalition; and former Congressman Jim Davis, former member of the House Budget Committee.
Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis, who launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, will headline an energy and environment panel that also includes Susan Glickman, Florida Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Buck Martinez, Senior Director of the Office of Clean Energy at Florida Power and Light; and state Rep. Dwight Dudley.
Panelists discussing “Transitioning Transportation: Moving Our Economy Forward” will include Jim Boxold, Florida Secretary of Transportation; State Senator Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.
“At the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, we strongly believe that the combination of civic engagement and civil discourse can produce strategic public policy solutions, and the goal of this conference is exactly that,” said David Klement, Executive Director of ISPS.