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2016 Indiana Conference on Citizenship

Lee Hamilton's Big Idea

On September 7-8, 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.

The Bicentennial Visioning Project

“As co-chair of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, I was impressed by the number and variety of activities being sponsored by communities and organizations throughout our state to mark this milestone in our history. Most of these appropriately focus on our past. 

“It seemed to me that a great opportunity would have been lost had the Bicentennial celebration been used only as a time to think of years gone by. Part of our celebration ought to look forward, thinking about how in the coming years we can make a good state even better. We, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission members, wanted to unleash the best minds in the state to think, even to dream, about the potential for Indiana. 

“This report encompasses that look into the future. I am excited about what I read in this report. It exceeds my expectations. It bursts with good ideas for our state. I am impressed not only with the quality and scope of the recommendations, but also with their specificity. 

“As I reflect on these pages, my hope is that Hoosiers will learn from, and possibly champion, some of these recommendations, and strive to implement them in our state’s third century.”

-Lee Hamilton

Read the full report here.

Lee Hamilton's Address

Former congressman and Indiana Bicentennial Commission co-chairman delivered two sets of remarks to the 2016 Indiana Conference on Citizenship expounding on the duties citizenship.  He lauded the history of Indiana’s citizen-led actions to build a strong society and he challenged the conference attendees to consider the essential nature of citizen participation in the American Experiment. 

Bicentennial Visioning Groups

At the conference, former Congressman Lee Hamilton and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presented 50 big ideas for Indiana’s future. The ideas were generated by experts representing the subject areas in the following videos. The Indiana Bicentennial Commission invited Sagamore Institute to help turn the 50 big ideas into an action agenda that was implemented across the state.  This effort is known known as the Third Century Project, with the mission of inspiring, educating, and engaging Indiana citizens to prepare Indiana’s third century for excellence.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs

Beth Bechdol | Director, Agribusiness Strategies, Ice Miller

Arts, Leisure, & Culture

Cathy Ferree

Business, Industry, & Economy

Wendy Dant Chesser | President and Chief Operating Officer, One Southern Indiana


Deborah Hearn Smith | Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

Civic Engagement & Philanthropy

Dr. Gene Tempel | Professor of Philanthropic Studies, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Education & Career Development

Jason Callahan | Superintendent, Wabash City Schools

Environment & Conservation

Mary McConnell | Indiana State Director, The Nature Conservancy

Governance & Infrastructure

Ted Boehm | Ret. Justice, Indiana Supreme Court

Health & Welfare

Dr. Sara Corya | Senior Medical Director, Eli Lilly and Company

Public Safety & Homeland Security

Peter Beering | President, Beering Enterprises


Peggy Welch | Former State Representative; Cheif Advocacy Officer, Indiana Family & Social Service Administration

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