Date: September 14-16, 2016
Location: Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
National experts, advocates, and leading academics gathered to address pressing social issues facing the country and the next administration. This conference outlined proposals for the presidential and other campaigns in 2016 and the second presidential debate, which the university hosted on October 9, 2016.
The conference focused on evidence-based policy ideas for the 12 Grand Challenges—from ending mass incarceration and family violence to achieving economic equality—identified by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare. Together, these challenges represent a bold and strategic agenda for social change. They focus on improving individual and family well-being, strengthening the social fabric, and helping to create a more just society.
Read the Grand Challenges policy briefs.
See the conference program.
For links to speeches and presentations at the conference, see the CSD News story “Conference takes on the nation’s ‘Grand Challenges.”. Or click on the links in the agenda below.
PowerPoints also are available. Please see the agenda below and click on the links.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) provided a video to welcome conference participants.
See conference photos.
Wednesday, September 14: Gathering of the grand challenges network workgroups
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Dinner
Speaker: NASW President Darrell P. Wheeler
Thursday, September 15: Specifying policy recommendations for the grand challenges
8:00 to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 to 12:00 p.m. Grand challenges network workgroup breakout sessions
12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch, informal discussion
1:30 to 5:40 p.m. Discussion of policy recommendations from the 12 grand challenge network workgroups (To view a PowerPoint, please click on a Grand Challenge.)
Theme I: Individual and family well-being
Theme II: Stronger social fabric
Theme III: Just society
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Conference dinner and speakers
• Welcome; Social policy focus in social work: Brown School Dean Mary McKay
Friday, September 16: Ideas to action: Implementing policy recommendations
7:30 to 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 to 8:45 a.m. Address on policy innovation for children and families, Mark Greenberg,
Acting Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
8:45 to 9:30 a.m. Policy progress and the grand challenges: Examples and discussion
Moderator: Eddie Uehara, University of Washington
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Policy strategies and direction for the grand challenges
• Sarah Dewees, First Nations Development Institute
• Sarah Gehlert, Washington University in St. Louis PowerPoint
• Isabel Sawhill, Brookings Institution PowerPoint
• Patricia White, New York Community Trust
Moderator: Marilyn Flynn, University of Southern California
10:45 to 11:30 a.m. Integration and vision for the grand challenges policy recommendations
• Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Corporation for Enterprise Development
• Rowena Fong, University of Texas PowerPoint
• Laura Lein, University of Michigan
• Ron Manderscheid, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors PowerPoint
Moderator: Richard Barth, President, AASWSW
11:30 to 12:15 p.m. “Social innovation for America’s renewal ,” Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities PowerPoint
12:15 to 12:30 p.m. Wrap-up and next steps
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Lunch, informal discussion, departures for airport
Postconference goals are to
• communicate GCSW policy recommendations widely, with a planned and systematic strategy;
• stimulate policy innovations at local, state, regional, and national levels;
• implement quality applied research on GCSW policy innovations; and
• embed positive social changes that reach millions of people in the United States.
Major institutional sponsors of the conference included the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, Washington University in St. Louis, Brookings Institution, Society for Social Work and Research, Fund for Social Policy Education and Practice, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
University schools of social work sponsors included the following:
Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work; University of Southern California, School of Social Work; University of Washington, School of Social Work; University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration; University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work; University of Maryland, School of Social Work; University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work; University of Michigan, School of Social Work; Boston University, School of Social Work; University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice; Boston College, School of Social Work.
Organized by the Center for Social Development.