2013 CSG National Conference

State Approaches to Obesity Reduction
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both the young and old. This session offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the problems. Panelists explored elements of the policymaking process that led to obesity programs in various states. Speakers discussed educational reforms, transportation developments, land use changes and food industry initiatives.

Evaluating the performance of state programs has become more important than ever. Despite shrinking revenues, states are being bombarded with greater demand for services. Citizens not only want increased access to programs, but also expect these programs to be run efficiently. At this intersection of demand, limited resources and the watchful eyes of taxpayers sits the policymaker or agency administrator trying to decide how best to move forward. Measuring performance and using performance data to strategically place resources are key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies that citizens demand. This session educated conference attendees on how “Results First” works and why using this approach to policy decision-making can lead to better, more efficient use of scarce state dollars.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse has developed an active discovery process, "Building Trust through Civil Discourse," designed tobuild a new set of skills and attitudes about civil engagement with a goal of improving personal and group productivity. This interactive workshop, facilitated by present and former legislators, was piloted in Nebraska and Ohio. Attendees who experienced the workshop, also previewed several other skill-building modules available to their states.

The Council of State Governments and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Presents: Strategies for Fostering Entrepreneurship

September 18-19, 2013

The entrepreneurial spirit drives the economy forward, but bringing a new product or service to market can be a daunting prospect for innovators—from gaining access to capital to navigating the legal and regulatory landscape. State policies can hinder or foster that entrepreneurial spirit. This CSG Fiscal and Economic Policy Academy, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, featured experts, practitioners and national thought leaders to explore state-based solutions for increased entrepreneurship. Attendees heard about innovative policy strategies to overcome hindrances to homegrown entrepreneurs as speakers shared best practices across the country.

In a time of continued economic stress, states are asked to increase efforts in public education. Digital learning offers a new direction for students, teachers and school districts. Opportunities exist to customize and personalize education so students receive the tools they need to engage in their instruction and become self-directed learners. Digital learning also opens the door to connect students across the state, region and nation with instructional content and practices they may not otherwise receive. This CSG Education Policy Academy provided resources to ensure students are college- and career-ready. Attendees engaged with speakers on a variety of strategic policy examples and programmatic solutions. Speakers also shared best practices and innovations through both regional and national examples.