Speakers at NCSL's 40th Annual Legislative Summit


NCSL NewsExciting Lineup Includes Senator Amy Klobuchar, Yo-Yo Ma and Sir Ken Robinson

Denver—Some of the country’s most knowledgeable and talented experts will share their insights on topics ranging from art, education, energy and the elections to communications, leadership, politics and human trafficking during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 40th annual Legislative Summit Aug. 19-22 in Minneapolis.

NCSL’s Summit is the largest and only gathering of its kind where legislators and staff come together to promote bipartisan dialogue on some of the most pressing concerns facing states. Approximately 5,000 attendees are expected at the meeting, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Following are some of the meeting’s speakers and the topics they’ll address:

Tuesday, Aug. 19

General Wesley Clark (Ret.). The four-star general and ex-NATO commander’s accomplishments include West Point valedictorian, Rhodes Scholar, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and author of two books, “Waging Modern War” and “Winning Modern Wars.” Clark is also an expert in national security and energy risk issues. He will discuss how to promote a secure, sustainable and prosperous energy future in a keynote address during NCSL’s Energy Policy Summit. 11:30 a.m.-Noon, Room 200DEFG

Sir Ken Robinson, an international education leader whose “How schools kill creativity” speech is among the 20 most popular talks of all time on TED.com, will discuss his ideas for “A New Education Revolution.” He challenges conventional wisdom and calls for a whole new approach to education, one in which creativity and individual talents can flourish. 1:30-2:45 p.m., Auditorium

Wednesday, Aug. 20

Humanitarian Cindy McCain and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will share their efforts to shed light on the problem of—and solutions to—human trafficking. McCain co-chairs the Arizona Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking, and  Klobuchar, a former prosecutor who became the first woman elected to represent Minnesota in the U.S. Senate, sponsored sex trafficking legislation modeled on Minnesota’s Safe Harbor laws. 9-10:15 a.m., Auditorium

Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, will talk about the Turnaround Arts program and how arts education can have a dramatic impact in the country’s lowest-performing schools. He may even play a tune. 12:30-1:45 p.m., Room 200DEFG

Sari de la Motte will teach people to “Communicate Like a Rock Star.” The communications expert, who has coached everyone from Fortune 500 executives to trial attorneys, specializes in nonverbal communication. She will show how silent signals can help boost influence, enhance leadership skills and increase charisma. 3:30-5 p.m., Room L100ABC

Thursday, Aug. 21

Neil Newhouse and Geoffrey Garin—two of the country’s most respected political pollsters but with differing perspectives—will come together to discuss “Polls, Politics and What Americans Really Think.” Newhouse’s Public Opinion Strategies is considered the leading Republican polling firm, and Garin is president of Hart Associates, pollster for NBC and the Wall Street Journal. They will reveal their research about what Americans think about their country, which party is likely to win in the upcoming election, and what that will mean for the nation. 9-10 a.m., Auditorium

Friday, Aug. 22

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, managing editors of Bloomberg Politics and best-selling authors of “Game Change” and “Double Down,” will share their political observations and analyses in “The Insiders' View: Politics Today.” Their talk will cover the interplay between the economy, Wall Street and Washington; the forces that shape American politics; and what the elections may mean for Republicans and Democrats. 12:30-2 p.m., Ballroom AB

A complete list of this year’s speakers can be found on our website along with the week’s agenda. In addition to speakers, NCSL.org also lists information about important meetings and events that will take place in Minneapolis.

All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Registration is required but free to credentialed members of the media. Online registration is open through Aug. 15; on-site registration for media is available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Room 201B at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Please review NCSL’s media policy before registering.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.