Sphere Summit: Teaching Civic Culture Together

July 14, 2019 3:30 PM EDT to July 18, 2019 10:00 AM EDT

Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC

The Sphere Summit is a summer program for grades 5-12 educators. The Sphere Summit will hold its opening seminar, "Teaching Civic Culture Together," at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, on July 14–18, 2019.

For more than four decades, the Cato Institute has introduced people, including millions of young people, to the ideas of freedom. Many Cato books are already taught in high school curricula across the country. To advance the ideas of liberal democracy and the rule of law, Cato has developed the Sphere Summit for educators. The Summit features discussions from balanced points of view by leading policy experts, academics, and thought leaders.

The Sphere Summit aims to restore a spirit of civil, constructive, and respectful discourse and engagement and to return facts, analysis, and research to primacy as the vehicles for discussion and debate.

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  • Civic Culture: Explore and address the current state of public discourse, partisanship, and tribalism in America.
  • Foundations: Discuss shared values essential to a restoration of civic culture.
  • Applications: Demonstrate and share tools and approaches for the classroom on current public policy issues from diverse viewpoints. Other topics will include the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and freedom of expression.
  • Understanding Each Other: Examine political philosophies — progressive, libertarian, and conservative — and engage with leading scholars and educators on how to communicate effectively with, and understand the viewpoints of, audiences with diverse perspectives. Adherents of the various political philosophies will explain the ways in which those philosophies are often misunderstood.
  • Policy Discussions: Analyze key policy issues from diverse perspectives with an emphasis on shared values and common objectives, guided by scholars from leading public policy organizations and academic institutions.


  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
  • Ibrahim Anoba, Editor, AfricanLiberty.org
  • David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute
  • Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute
  • Steve Clemons, Editor-At-Large, The Hill
  • Mark Davis, Head of School, St. Luke's School, New Canaan, CT
  • Annie Duke, Championship Poker Player, Author, and Decision Strategist
  • Emily Ekins, Research Fellow, Director of Polling, Cato Institute
  • Chelsea Follett, Managing Editor, HumanProgress.org
  • Sherry Glied, Dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
  • Peter Goettler, President and CEO, Cato Institute
  • Donald E. Graham, Chairman, Graham Holdings Company, and Former Publisher, the Washington Post
  • Arnold Kling, Senior Affiliated Scholar, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Jeffrey Miron, Director, Undergraduate Studies, Department of Economics, Harvard University; and Director, Economics Studies, Cato Institute
  • Monique Morrissey, Economist, Economic Policy Institute
  • Clark Neily, Vice President, Criminal Justice, Cato Institute
  • Tom G. Palmer, Executive Vice President for International Programs, Atlas Network
  • Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Jason L. Riley, Editorial Board Member, The Wall Street Journal, and Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Ramesh Ponnuru, Senior Editor, National Review
  • Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center
  • Stefanie Sanford, Chief of Global Policy & External Relations, College Board
  • Kerry Sautner, Chief Learning Officer, National Constitution Center
  • Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs, American Progress
  • Nadine Strossen, Former President, ACLU, and John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, New York Law School
  • Michael D. Tanner, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Hayne Yoon, Director of Government Affairs, Vera Institute of Justice

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