A premier nonpartisan gathering of the brightest and most politically engaged students from Florida’s colleges and universities

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Future of Florida Summit invites the brightest and most politically engaged students from Florida’s colleges and universities to address pressing issues facing our state. The summit aims to: establish a tradition of statewide intercollegiate political activism; inspire students to champion solutions to difficult challenges; and promote the free and open exchange of ideas.

The FOF Summit is one the Graham Center’s Hallmark programs. Modeled after the National Campaign Conference, sponsored by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the summit encourages students to think beyond their own needs to the challenges faced by other and explore how they might contribute to the common good. Students receive a number of tangible and intangible rewards, including:

  • exclusive small-group meetings with experts in the field;
  • collaborative initiatives with students from other colleges and universities;
  • development and publication of reports that can help citizens and policymakers address major issues facing the state; and
  • a pathway to leading a life of informed and engaged citizenship.

At the end of the program, students receive certificates signed by former Gov. Bob Graham recognizing their commitment to others and thanking them for their leadership and engagement.

Participants meet and interact with knowledgeable panelists (faculty, legislators, journalists, business leaders, and lobbyists) who have expertise on the issue under consideration. Past speakers have included Former Florida Gov. and U.S. Sen Bob Graham, former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, Law Dean Emeritus and former speaker of the Florida House Jon Mills, and Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Noah Valenstein .

In 2018 the center hosted 120 students, representing 22 of Florida’s higher education institutions, for the fifth annual Future of Florida Summit. Students discussed pertinent issues related to the future of Florida’s environment. Three student proposals were chosen by panel of judges to be developed into potential legislation. In 2019 the summit will focus on Technology & Civics.

Previous year’s topics have included:

  • Online Voter Registration
  • Advocacy and Institutions
  • Challenges Facing Higher Education
  • The Florida Constitution Revision Commission