Progressive/Conservative Summit - Friday, October 1 and 2, 2021

Saturday, October 2, 2021
All day
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Students

3 Speaker Blend

A conservative, a progressive, and a libertarian walk onto a stage. They engage in robust discussion. No, that is not a joke. 2020 brought forth issues long plaguing the nation, from the inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic to the election conspiracies fueled by polarizing social media platforms, if not politicians themselves. As Americans increasingly write off those they disagree with as “the other” on these and other issues, we lose vital opportunities to seek understanding and find areas of actionable common ground. The gap between left and right continues to swell, and fractures within the Democratic and Republican parties have forced Americans to ask: what’s now, and what’s next for these movements?

The Hauenstein Center, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and the Progressive Women’s Alliance are proud to reconvene for the 2021 Progressive Conservative Summit. Jane Coaston, the host of “The Argument” podcast, sets the stage for good-faith debate on Friday evening. On Saturday, David French, senior editor at The Dispatch, and Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of Vox, examine what’s now and what’s next for conservatives and progressives alike. Panel sessions include discussions on the 2020 Census and Election results, offering thoughts for the shifting coalitions and cultural clashes among America’s left and right. The Summit concludes with a discussion between French, Yglesias, and Coaston. 


Friday, October 1: 

7 PM Keynote: Jane Coaston The Importance of Good-faith Debate

Saturday, October 2: 

9 AM Breakfast and Registration

10 AM Keynote: David French What's Now and What's Next for Conservatism 

11:45 AM Panel: Shifting Coalitions for the Future of the American Electorate

1 PM Luncheon Workshop 

2:30 PM Keynote Matthew Yglesias What's Now and What's Next for Progressivism 

4:15 PM Panel: Political and Cultural Isms

5:30 PM Public Networking Reception

7 PM Keynote: Jane Coaston, David French, and Matthew Yglesias Common Ground

Please stay tuned for presentation descriptions and additional information soon!

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Location Information

Richard M. DeVos Center

We will continue to offer a digital alternative for all of our events as we consider the health and safety of our members, students, and the community. We strongly encourage higher-risk populations to engage in our events virtually by visiting or call in at US: +1 (929) 205-6099 Webinar ID: 872 2239 4732  to view the live broadcast.

Contact Information
(616) 331-2770


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This event was added to the calendar by Samantha York ( on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 and was last updated on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 11:29 a.m.