Hauenstein Center hosts progressive, conservative pundits for two-day summit

Speakers discussing issue at conference
Speakers from the 2018 Progressive/Conservative Summit field a question from the audience. The Hauenstein Center's two-day conference begins October 1 and unites pundits with opposing political viewpoints for discussions.
Image credit - University Communications

GVSU’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies welcomes a trio of speakers representing a cross-section of political views for the 11th annual Progressive/Conservative Summit on October 1-2.

The Hauenstein Center is partnering with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Progressive Women’s Alliance to host the summit, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday, October 1, at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium on Grand Valley’s Pew Campus.

The program will feature four keynote addresses with libertarian, conservative and liberal speakers; panel discussions; a luncheon workshop and networking opportunities. 

Discussions will focus on the future of conservatism and liberalism, civil engagement amongst political parties, and how the nation can unite on issues.   

“Where we are culturally and politically, it’s so easy to tune out one another for our own echo chambers,” said Jakob Bigard, program manager of Hauenstein’s Common Ground initiative, which aims to prepare the next generation of leaders to work with people of different backgrounds and beliefs.

“It’s too easy to fall back into those echo chambers. We don’t see enough opportunities to search for collaboration, and it’s important to include opportunities for people to engage.”

This year’s speakers include:

  • Jane Coaston was a former senior politics reporter for Vox before joining The New York Times in September 2020 as host of its opinion podcast, “The Argument.” Her work has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, the National Review, ESPN The Magazine, and the Washington Post.
  • David French is senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time. He is also a former senior writer for the National Review and a former senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is a New York Times bestselling author, and his most recent book, “Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation,” was published in September 2020.
  • Matthew Yglesias is one of the co-founders of Vox, and its senior correspondent covering politics and economic policy and host of the website’s “The Weeds” podcast. Before launching Vox, Yglesias was a columnist for Slate and blogged for Think Progress, The Atlantic, TPM, and The American Prospect. He is the author of three books, most recently “One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger,” was published in September 2020.

Bigard called the conference unique as it’s unusual for an institution of higher education to invite speakers of opposing viewpoints to respectfully discuss topics in an open format.

“We actively try to unite progressives and conservatives to have intellectual conversations and highlight the importance of engaging in civil discussions,” said Bigard.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the Hauenstein Center’s website.


Sign up and receive the latest Grand Valley headlines delivered to your email inbox each morning.