By Jane Carroll Andrade

If NCSL operates at a steady hum on your average day, we are at Mach 10 now, as the final details fall (and are sometimes pushed) into place for our 40th annual Legislative Summit beginning Tuesday in Minneapolis.

So after many months of planning by NCSL’s staff and executive committee, in concert with Minnesota’s energetic and creative Host Committee, here are just a few of the highlights attendees can expect:

  • When one thinks of public policy, Yo-Yo Ma may not be the first name to come to mind. Yet the renowned cellist will discuss his efforts to bring more art into education as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities. And he’s bringing his cello.
  • Humanitarian Cindy McCain and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will team up to talk about human trafficking, superstar Sir Ken Robinson will try to spark an education revolution and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark (Ret.) will share his insights about energy security.
  • This being an election year, the agenda is also robust with prominent political speakers—from pollsters Neil Newhouse and Geoffrey Garin to journalists and authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin—as well as sessions about everything from administering elections to "The Ethical Challenges of Dark Money."

All in all, we’ll hold more than 100 sessions on everything from ethics and the economy to 3D printing and health care to taxes and transportation. And be on the lookout for the six sessions we’ll stream live at

For early birds and exercisers, there’s a Walk for Wellness and Bipartisan Bike Ride. And after hours, look for Minnesota to showcase its beauty and amenities with two networking events—Catch the Pioneer Spirit at the famed Mill City Museum and Minnesota Proud on Nicollet Island. Not to give away too much, but suffice to say fishing, flour, log rolling and the band Soul Asylum will be involved.

Excited yet? We’ll make it easy. Check out the online agenda or download the Summit app and just tap on a session or event to add to your calendar. It will be a whirlwind. Be ready to be wowed … and wear comfortable shoes.

Jane Carroll Andrade is a program director in the communications division for NCSL.

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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