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Start Your Policy Engines: NCSL’s Legislative Summit Arrives in Indy

The nation’s premier gathering of state legislators and staffers is packed with can’t-miss panels, roundtables, social events and more.

By Mark Wolf  |  August 14, 2023

When the checkered flag comes down on NCSL’s Legislative Summit this week in Indianapolis, attendees will have experienced a plethora of policy, inspirational speakers, panels, roundtables, general sessions, great social events and more.

Much more.

The Legislative Summit, which expects to bring more than 5,000 visitors to Indianapolis, runs Monday through Wednesday at the Indiana Convention Center.

“Indianapolis is known as the crossroads of America, and this week, it will become the crossroads of policy and innovation,” NCSL CEO Tim Storey says. “This Summit comes at just the right time, when legislators and staff are tackling big new challenges like artificial intelligence, electric vehicle infrastructure and ending the opioid epidemic. We’re bringing together leaders and experts from around the nation and across the political spectrum to share innovative solutions to pressing problems.

“The Indiana General Assembly has been an amazing partner in this Summit,” Storey says. “In fact, they crushed it, and the week will be full of amazing experiences for the thousands of attendees traveling from all over the country.”

A few highlights from the policy sessions: drugs and alcohol behind the wheel, retirement resilience, leading with civility, the Supreme Court’s recent term, kids and social media, the national housing dilemma, railroad safety, the future of work, juvenile justice, natural disasters, maternal mortality, elections and lowering hospital costs.

A sampling of featured speakers:

  • During his second tour in Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Cedric King lost both legs and suffered permanent damage to his right arm when an improvised explosive device detonated. Less than two years later, he ran the Boston Marathon and has since become an endurance athlete with an inspirational message of hope and determination. (General session, Tuesday, 9 a.m.)
  • Nancy Giordano is a strategic futurist, corporate consultant and bestselling author who helps organizations create the sustainable and dynamic solutions the future demands. (General session, Monday, 4 p.m.)
  • Communications expert Sarita Maybin has made it her mission to help others embrace positivity to meet the challenges of our high-tech times. (General session, Monday, 9 a.m.)
  • Julieanna L. Richardson founded The HistoryMakers, a priceless national collection of African American video oral histories. She was recently profiled on “60 Minutes.” (Monday, 1:30 p.m.)

The exhibit hall, always a Summit highlight, features 228 exhibitors encompassing a vast range of social and political advocacy, health, animals, therapy, finance, transportation, nutrition, entertainment, software, social media and much more. And don’t miss the Learning Hub, where exhibitors can make a 30-minute presentation of their product or message directly to Summit attendees.

Can’t make it to Indy? Nine of the Summit sessions will be livestreamed by the Ohio Channel.

Legislators and staff are encouraged to attend the annual business meeting to consider the policy directives and resolutions that will guide NCSL’s advocacy efforts before Congress and the administration, elect NCSL officers and executive committee, and approve the NCSL budget. All Summit attendees are welcome to observe.

After hours, network and socialize with your fellow attendees:

  • The Ultimate Tailgate will showcase Hoosier hospitality with food and entertainment in the home of the Indianapolis Colts. (Lucas Oil Stadium, Monday, 5:30-7 p.m.)
  • The White River Jam features double Grammy nominee Midland, who will take the stage for the Summit’s closing event. (White River State Park, Wednesday, 6:30-9 p.m.)

 Mark Wolf is a senior editor at NCSL.

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