At the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, we know that understanding the governing challenges of the past can help unlock policy solutions for the future. In fact, each challenge is an opportunity for further exploration and learning.
On May 21–23, 2019, the Miller Center and UVA's new Democracy Initiative will bring these lessons to life by convening political insiders, top scholars, and students—our future leaders and influencers—for the Presidential Ideas Festival: Democracy in Dialogue. The three-day event on UVA's historic Central Grounds will feature working sessions about specific aspects of the presidency.
These sessions will serve as presidential laboratories through which participants with different points of view will investigate the issues and emerge with solutions. It is a unique process that encourages a real-world approach to problem-solving.
As the nation's only university founded by three presidents, the University of Virginia is uniquely positioned to facilitate these presidential laboratories—to create a space where understanding past challenges will drive the creation of solutions for the future.
As part of the University of Virginia’s Bicentennial—celebrating its founding 200 years ago by Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe—PrezFest 2019 will engage promising undergraduate and graduate students, supporting Thomas Jefferson’s mission for the University to forge the “leaders of tomorrow through . . . the candid exchange of ideas.”
We will bring future leaders into conversation with former White House officials and the nation’s leading scholars, creating a unique environment in which discourse is turned into action.
For more than four decades, the Miller Center has worked to apply the lessons of history to the nation’s most pressing governance challenges, dedicating itself to the comprehensive study of the U.S. presidency.
Through rigorous scholarship, we shine a light on the ways our democracy has worked—and on the times it has struggled. Through civil discourse, we carry forward a unique nonpartisan tradition, generating insights and proposals to help unite our divided nation.
The Presidential Ideas Festival will address the toughest challenges facing our democracy by:
Collecting and curating the viewpoints of top political leaders, scholars, and students
Delivering insights that help steer our country in a secure and prosperous direction
Cultivating future leaders of America
Establishing long-term connections with students, offering mentorship and guidance
Preparing students from all disciplines for public service
Join us to participate in discussions with some of the nation’s top political thinkers:
Former presidents and White House officials, first ladies, and ambassadors
Scholars and journalists
Business leaders and philanthropists
Current and former policy makers
Undergraduate and graduate students
Curious and engaged citizens from around the country, both in person and online
The Presidential Ideas Festival is part of the Miller Center’s ambitious “Presidency at a Crossroads” research project.