• 2017 Policy Summit

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    Name: 2017 Policy Summit
    Date: August 17, 2017
    Registration: Sorry, public registration for this event has been closed.
    Event Description:
    8:00 Registration Opens
    9:00 Welcome
    9:15 – 10:30
    Trade – Who Needs It?  ND, That’s Who…
    Trade is one of those things you know is important but you really don’t know how important it is until you lose it.  Be reminded of this concept when your computer or tablet stops working and you cannot send an email or communicate with the outside world.  In North Dakota, nearly 85% of everything we grow, raise, or manufacture is exported.  With such a small population, we could not possibly consume all we are capable of producing.  Trade, then, is intrinsic to our economy, our farmers, ranchers, and business community.  Most importantly, trade is the foundation of almost every job in our state. Canada is our number one trading partner followed by Mexico.  China, Korea, Japan, and Pacific rim countries offer additional opportunities.  Yet, trade seems under assault.  We’ve lashed out at our trade partners sending the message they might be stealing our jobs and they might be taking advantage of our good nature.  To a degree some of this might have a nugget of truth, but should we try to fix any imbalances or simply scrap trade agreements hoping for a better bargain to be renegotiated at a later date?
    Hear firsthand how trade affects farmers, ranchers, and the business community and what they think we ought to do regarding trade.
    Moderator: Joel Heitkamp, News & Views Host, KFGO

    1. Julie Ellingson – Executive Vice President, ND Stockman’s Association
    2. Daryl Lies – President, ND Farm Bureau
    3. Kayla Pulvermacher – Member Advocacy Director, ND Farmer’s Union
    4. Dean Gorder – Executive Director, ND Trade Office
    5. Curtis Shuck – President, Universal Exports Limited LLC
    6. Thomas Shorma – CEO/President, WCCO Belting, Inc.
    10:30-10:45 Break
    10:45 – 12:00
    North Dakota's Energy Future - A Challenging Balancing Act
    Energy is one of North Dakota’s biggest employers.  Nearly all the energy we produce is exported to other states – this includes oil and natural gas, ethanol, and electricity.  Transmission lines allow electricity to be exported large distances, and Governor Burgum has challenged the oil industry to double its production.  In an energy-hungry world, North Dakota has a great deal of opportunity.  With technological innovation and North Dakota entrepreneurship, there are even more options to produce the energy others demand. 
    North Dakota is a large coal, gas, and wind state, so what fuel sources are best suited to meet the demands of the future?  Should out-of-state forces dictate how we produce energy?  Or is it up to us to decide how energy is produced?  How will employment be impacted?  What might the North Dakota energy future look like?
    Moderator: Tony Clark, Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner

    1. U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp
    2. Jason Bohrer – President & CEO, Lignite Energy Council
    3. Ron Ness – President, North Dakota Petroleum Council
    4. Brad Tollerson – Vice President, Planning & Strategy, Otter Tail Power
    5. John Di Donato – Vice President, Development, NextEra Energy Resources
    12:00 - 12:30 Lunch Buffet
    12:30 - 1:30
    The Burgum Agenda
    Great leaders have one thing in common: they ignore everything but the goal they want to accomplish.  Their passion, singlemindedness, and obsession is clear.  Everyone around them knows what the goal is and they know what their part is in accomplishing the goal.   Get on their bus or be left behind.  Governor Burgum is that kind of bus driver.  Hear the bus driver describe his goals for North Dakota at the GNDC Policy Summit.  These include reinventing government, reinvigorating our main streets, and diversifying our economy through entrepreneurship.  You will not be disappointed. 
    Governor Burgum will give a “Ted-like” talk followed by an interview with Andy Peterson.
    1:40 – 2:45
    Views from Both Sides of the Aisle: Legislative Leaders’ Discussion
    Never talk politics or religion, or so they say.  Both can elicit strong reaction in polite company.  However, our democracy is set up in such a manner that allows one political party outsize influence in our government.  That party, love it or hate it, has the say in how we do things until such time the people throw them out of power and then hand the power over to the other party.  The smart thing, then, is to stay in touch with how the people are feeling about your party’s leadership.  As we all know, our state leans to the right of the political spectrum. But is our state moving in the right direction, how are the people feeling, and what new ideas and direction does each party have going forward?
    Hear from the majority and minority legislative leaders to understand their perspectives and vision for our government.
    Moderator: Charley Johnson- President/CEO, Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau

    1. Representative Al Carlson
    2. Representative Corey Mock
    3. Senator Rich Wardner
    4. Senator Joan Heckaman
    2:45-3:00 Break
    3:00 - 4:15
    Higher Education: A Sea Change or New Normal?  The Future and How We Will Get There
    North Dakotans care passionately about higher education.  Farmers, ranchers, business people, and many others talk incessantly about it at church suppers, in coffee shops, and around the water cooler.  Perhaps it is because we all want our children to do better than we have done and we view higher education as a means for our kids to more successful.   Each and every legislative session, tempers collide and power struggles emerge regarding funding, educational philosophy, and the direction of the “system”.   But where are we really going?  Our constitution is explicit about the number of campuses and their missions, so the question becomes what do we want the system to do and provide?  Additionally, business has become more dynamic as the cycle of creative destruction accelerates.  What does this mean to the future of the “system”?   Will North Dakota higher education reinvent itself, operate at status quo, or lose relevance?
    These issues regarding the future will be discussed and challenged.  Without a difficult discussion and successful implementation of futuristic ideas, the business community may be left behind.
    Moderator: Chris Berg, Host of Point of View w/Chris Berg on Valley News Live and West Dakota Fox

    1. Chancellor Mark Hagerott- North Dakota University System
    2. Representative Rick Becker
    3. Tim Flakoll- Provost, Tri-College University and Former State Senator
    4. Nick Hacker- Member of the State Board of Higher Education 
    Event Sponsors:
    • Sanford Bismarck
    • MDU Resources Group, Inc.
    • JLG Architects

    Platinum Sponsor

    Silver Sponsor

    Bronze Sponsor

    Lunch Sponsor


    Ramkota Inn

    800 3rd Street  |  Bismarck, ND 58504

    Date/Time Information:
    Thursday, August 17, 2017
    8:00 am Registration Opens
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