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Sagamore Conversations

Sagamore hosts engaging conversations at the Levey Mansion in Indianapolis and its network of scholars export ideas around the world.

Scroll below to learn about some of our favorite conversations from across our three lanes of action.

  • Policy Conversations
  • Citizenship Conversations
  • Commonwealth Conversations

On Economic Openness

On May 17, 2019, London-based think tank Legatum Institute launched their Global Index of Economic Openness (GIEO) at the Chamber of the House of Representatives in the Indiana State Capitol Building. The GIEO ranks 157 countries’ openness to commerce and analyzes what enables or hinders a country’s ability to trade domestically and internationally. This inquiry is central to Sagamore’s work on understanding how prosperity is created and perpetuated.

On International Development

On April 26th, 2013, the Sagamore Institute hosted an event titled China in Africa: A New Model of International Development? This event explored questions that arise from the growing presence of China in Africa, with input from Chinese, US, and African scholars, and engaged the Indianapolis community in questions of Africa’s future development. 

On Reinventing Public Compassion

On September 17, 2013, Sagamore hosted an event at the National Press Club to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the landmark Wisconsin legislation that ended the state welfare programs established by FDR. The event featured remarks from former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson on why he signed the legislation, and UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith on why the UK adopted the Wisconsin Model to shape their own welfare reform agenda.

On National Security & First Response

On September 18-19, 2013, Sagamore sponsored The Future of Unmanned Systems: National Security & First Responders, presented by the National Center for Complex Operations. The event showcased the use of unmanned systems in national security and first response applications and highlighted the vast range of Indiana’s defense resources. 

On Compassion in Action

In January 2007, Jay Hein, then-Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives,  began a series of Compassion in Action roundtables to profile President Bush’s compassion agenda. The initiative enabled some of America’s most effective social service providers to compete fairly for Federal funding, in order to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

On Celebrating American Ideas

On March 25, 2010, Sagamore Institute hosted the first annual “Celebrating American Ideas” gala, where the first Celebrating American Ideas award was presented to select members of the Navajo Code Talkers who transformed their ancient language into an indecipherable military code.

On the essential role of citizens

On March 25, 2010 Sagamore Institute hosted its first “Celebrating American Ideas” gala. Former Secretary of Education and renowned author William J. Bennett gave a rousing keynote address on the American Idea. His address emphasizes the essential role of citizens and our responsibility to learn our nation’s history in order to define and defend democracy.

On Liberty, Federalism, and the Constitution

Despite the vast centralization of power in Washington D.C. in the 20th and 21st centuries, the idea and need for a renewed federalism continues to guide debates around the proper spheres of national and state governments. What should federalism look like in the 21st century? How should we understand its origins, development, and current trajectory in America?  This 2013 Constitution Day symposium explores federalism’s contribution to liberty in the American Republic and the Constitution’s division of power between the federal and state governments.

On Inspiring the Next Generation

On November 23, 2015, Sagamore Institute hosted the annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship where then-Governor Mike Pence celebrated the Sagamores of the Wabash. His address commends their service, calls them to action, and challenges them to share their stories to inspire the next generation of citizen leaders.

On Indiana's Potential

In 2016, Sagamore Institute hosted the second annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship, focusing on Indiana’s third century. Former Congressman Lee Hamilton, co-chair of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, had a big idea: Celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary by gathering thought leaders to set ambitious goals to achieve within the next 50 years. In response, Sue Ellspermann in her capacity as Indiana Lieutenant Governor led the Bicentennial Visioning Project.

On Human Rights and Modern-Day Slavery

On June 24, 2013,  Sagamore Institute was pleased to host bestselling author Corban Addison and Dr. Amy Sherman for a discussion on human rights and modern-day slavery. Addison’s recent works—A Walk Across the Sun and The Garden of Burning Sand—combine compelling narrative with the realties of human suffering. Joining him was Dr. Amy Sherman, the Director of Sagamore Institute’s Center on Faith in Communities, who offered reflections on behalf of the International Justice Mission where she is a Senior Fellow. Following their presentations, the speakers dialogued with community stakeholders about human trafficking in Indianapolis. 

On Faith and the Criminal Justice System

On July 18, 2011, Sagamore Institute hosted a book signing with criminologist Byron R. Johnson. Through years of research, Johnson has uncovered strong evidence that religion can be a powerful antidote to crime, but why is it that this “faith factor” is rarely included in traditional conversations about prisoner rehabilitation? In his new release More God, Less Crime, Johnson explores this discrepancy and provides readers with practical insights that could transform the effectiveness of our current criminal justice system. 

On Rethinking Wealth

Common wealth has developed this set of resources to help our impact investing community rethink wealth and excel in stewardship: To Make the World Rejoice, Citizens as Better Economic Actors, and Churches as better Economic Actors.

On Faith and Entrepreneurship

On April 8, 2019, Sagamore Institute hosted a luncheon with Scott Weiss, founder of OCEAN Programs based in Cincinnati. OCEAN was founded to increase the awareness of God by building into entrepreneurs. It is a non-profit that serves entrepreneurs by providing access to training, community, and a foundation of faith on which to launch new organizations. Mr. Weiss shared OCEAN’s inspiring “origin” story and summarized three key products of the program.

On making the world rejoice

Dr. Amy L. Sherman is a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, where she directs the Center on Faith in Communities. She likes to describe the work of the Center as that of being “a minister to ministries.” She provides training and consulting to churches and nonprofits seeking to transform their communities for the common good. Dr. Sherman delivered a talk to Q Ideas in New York City on the themes of her book, Kingdom Calling.  Amy explains how we should all use our vocational power to make the world rejoice.

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