The fine folks at the State Policy Network deserve well-earned congratulations on the completion of yet another successful annual meeting, this year co-sponsored by the Sutherland Institute and Libertas Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute team of Scooter Schaefer (pictured above), Heather Browning, and myself were there spreading the good news of free markets and limited government and training attendees on how to run a digital advocacy campaign on a shoestring budget. Presenters Shoshana Weissmann of the R Street Institute and Bret Jacobson of Red Edge joined us on that training panel, and both dispensed hot takes and smart tips to the audience.
Other SPN member organizations presented dozens of sessions on policy topics and vocational skills, such that one of the event’s greatest challenges was scheduling FOMO. Below are a few of the exhibiting organizations.
- The Thomas Jefferson Institute hosted a discussion about state-level issues in energy policy, including topics like offshore drilling. Prospects for domestic energy production are closely related to CEI’s own work on replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan as well as property rights and the need for reform of the Endangered Species Act.
- Bestselling author Kim Scott presented on her book “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity.” She encourages us all to be honest with our coworkers and continually challenge them to improve.
- The Tax Foundation was well represented, providing hospitality and copies of their much-loved maps.
- The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University presented new research on transportation policy. Many D.C.-based attendees were excited to congratulate former Mercatus Center scholar Chris Koopman on his new affiliation out West.
- The Libertas Institute considered reform opportunities not just on the state, but also local level. Cities have control over many licensing and regulation issues, such as which food trucks are allowed to operate.
The CEI team was also excited to participate in the DonorsTrust “Be a Giver” game, in which attendees were asked to donate tokens to their favorite exhibiting nonprofit group with the top recipient winning a cash prize. DonorsTrust is encouraging young professionals in particular to become first-time philanthropists via the Novus Society.
It’ll be about eleven and a half months until we pack up to head to the 27th Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, but until then, I’ll be digesting and building on the valuable insights gleaned from the gathering in Salt Lake City. That, and enjoying the impressive haul of unpriced conference giveaway items picked up from the exhibit hall.