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, former Florida Supreme Court Justice James Perry and UF Law Dean Emeritus and former speaker of the Florida House Jon Mills.

In 2017 the center hosted more than 125 students, representing 25 of Florida’s higher education institutions, for the fourth annual Future of Florida Summit. More than 300 student applied to participate. Students discussed Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, and three proposals from the summit were submitted to the CRC for consideration. The 2018 summit will focus on Florida’s environment.

Previous year’s topics have included:

  • Online Voter Registration
  • Advocacy and Institutions
  • Challenges Facing Higher Education