re:public XI

November 11, 2012

Each year, the Center for Digital Government convenes a hand-selected group of visionaries, thought-leaders and doers of deeds. This is an opportunity for attendees to discuss the great opportunities available in this digital age, discard old mindsets and learn new ways to confront and overcome challenges. It is time for re:public XI.

re:public convenes some of today’s finest leaders in public service around the great lessons of history and the great ideas of today – all with a view to creating a future worthy of our heritage and our children. It is a celebration of both rugged individuals and the spirit of community that made this country possible.

The group of characters who attend this invitation-only event reflects a belief that the answer is in the room if the right people are in it. And they are. Their peer-to-peer discussions are shaped through dialogue with world-class speakers.







Meaning and Significance in Today’s Public Service:
Serving in the arena as it is, not the way we wished it was

As re:public, a leadership retreat for those who choose to lead in the states and localities, enters its second decade, the challenges and opportunities are different – but no less severe than when this gathering of hand-picked public servants began over a decade ago.

Over the years, Teddy Roosevelt emerged as the most quoted president by re:public guests – for his wit, wisdom and plain-spoken determination to lead and serve well. Most well-known for his soaring In the Arena speech in 1910 – “The credit belongs to the man who . . . does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and, who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly” – we see a lot of Teddy in this year’s eleventh annual program, too.

These remain tough times in public service. But Roosevelt would suggest not unprecedentedly so. He would urge us on to do the hard thing because it is the right thing – as he famously said, “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.”

You are among our invited guests for re:public this year because you serve in the arena, know the great enthusiasms and disappointments  and, despite the difficulties, have not lost sight of the great prize of serving well. You will be among friends. We look forward to welcoming you there.


10 a.m. – Golf Begins – Sonoran Course
Greens fees and carts are covered; golfers are responsible for equipment rentals.

6:30 p.m. – Opening Reception – Papago Terrace

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – Papago Ballroom

7:30 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. –  Welcome / Participant Introductions

9:30 a.m. – The Halperin Take on What 2012 Means to the Game, and To Us

Mark Halperin HeadshotMark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst for TIME, senior political analyst for MSNBC and creator and author of TIME.com’s The Page, detailed the intrigue and impact of the 2008 election as co-author of the bestseller Game Change.

Halperin will lead a discussion of where we are days after the 2012 vote, what it means for the future,and whether (or how) the game has changed this time. The session is not a time for partisan gloating or hand ringing, but a clear-eyed look at where we are and where we go from here.

“A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”

“The government is us; we are the government, you and I.”

             – Theodore Roosevelt

10:45 a.m. –  Networking Break

11:15 a.m.
–  What Demography Means to Urban Futures, Ethnic Diversity and Transforming Lives through Education

Dr. James Johnson headshot
Dr. James Johnson, Jr., is using education to transform a distressed urban neighborhood and the future of its children.

Johnson serves as the director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

His work provides a rare beacon for policy makers and practitioners in state and local government in areas that are reshaping America: the effects of demographic changes on the U.S. workplace; the effects of ethic shifts on public policy in urban America; workforce diversity issues; and the economic and employment impact of white collar job shifts offshore on U.S. competitiveness.

“I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.”

             – Theodore Roosevelt

12:30 p.m. – Networking Lunch – Cabana at Pool
1:45 p.m. – Why Sustainability Has Not Always Meant What We Think It Means: Lessons in the Stewardship of a National Jewel

Jim Evanoff headshot
Yellowstone remains a work in progress, 140 years after its designation as a national park. For the last two dozen years, Jim Evanoff spearheaded many of the park’s “greening initiatives.” As an environmental protection specialist (retired), Evanoff managed many of Yellowstone’s environmental programs (including wolf re-introduction) and provided guidance to other national parks for achieving sound environmental stewardship.

Taking the long view reminds us that what it means to do the “right thing” for the park has changed over the years – and may do so again.

Evanoff was with the National Park Service for 32 years with stops at Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado, Arches National Park in southern Utah and Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota before arriving at Yellowstone.

"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm."

"It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it."

              – Theodore Roosevelt

3 p.m. – Time on Your Own – including re:public’s Second Extreme Volleyball Bash – Rec Center

Join us for an extreme sports break before dinner. Volleyball in the fresh air to stretch your muscles. So, pack appropriate clothing and shoes for a fun workout. Don’t want to play? Then bring your pom poms – or at least your loudest cheers – and jump and shout for your favorite team.

Teams: Will it be public vs private? Men vs women? West coast vs east coast? You never know what might happen at re:public. So don’t miss out!

6 p.m. – Dinner Under the Stars – Mesquite Gulch

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – Papago Ballroom

8:00 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Closing Panel: What It Means to Do Work Worth Doing in a New Generation of Public Service

It has been a long time since President Kennedy's inaugural called on a then-new generation not to ask what their country could do for them, but what they could do for their country. For younger generations that are instinctively social and continuously connected with each other, there is real hope that they will serve as each other’s Camelot.

The inspiration and innovation may come from students talking to students, and peers talking to peers within the age group saying, “It’s time for us to step up.” If they are given a chance, they themselves might issue the clarion call.

In this special day-two panel, we will hear from students from leading MPA programs from around the country on making and responding to just such a call – and how there might be apps for what ails our civics in the meantime.

Charles Maddox, MPA Candidate, Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Alexandra Meis, MPA Candidate, Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, Health Policy and Management, New York University
Joe Semsar, MPA Candidate, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania
Chris Toman,
MPA Candidate, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth

              – Theodore Roosevelt

10:30 a.m. – Closing Remarks

11:00 a.m. – re:public XI Session Officially Adjourned

re:public XI will be followed immediately by working lunches by both the Digital States Performance Institute (DSPI) and Digital Communities programs. Check in at the Papago Foyer for both.



Omni Tucson National Resort
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Hilton Tucson El Conquistador
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