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Join us at the Festival

This year, we’re having conversations about changing police culture, curbing gun violence, moving the needle on poverty, using capitalism for good, and art as a force for social change.

We’ll hear from folks including Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, former LAPD sergeant-turned-police reformer Cheryl Dorsey, Chicago Beyond CEO Liz Dozier, comedian Roy Wood, Jr., author and poverty fighter Wes Moore, former Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan, professor, author and Reverend  Michael Eric Dyson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots.

And it’s all virtual. 

Mark your calendars: December 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd, 5:30-7:30 pm, via Zoom.



What happened at the 2019 festival

Last year’s Festival featured HBO’s John OliverNew York Attorney General Letitia JamesMSNBC’s Ali Velshi and First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman. It covered some of the most important issues facing Philadelphia, like moving the needle on poverty, reducing gun violence and implementing local government innovations.

Check out videos from the festival in December 2019 and key takeaways here. And check out the line-up for our upcoming 2020 virtual festival here.

The 3rd annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

This year’s virtual event will span four evenings and propose countless bold ideas on creating a more just, equitable and prosperous Philadelphia. Join us and be part of the solution.

The 3rd annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

This year’s virtual event will span four evenings and propose countless bold ideas on creating a more just, equitable and prosperous Philadelphia. Join us and be part of the solution.

It sounds like a riddle: What do you get when you mix a preacher, a politician, a poet, plus dozens of other groundbreaking leaders from around the country?

The answer, however, is far more consequential: The 3rd annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival, The Citizen’s yearly convening of revered leaders from around the U.S.

This year’s festival, to be held virtually over the course of four Tuesday evenings in December, will focus on innovative solutions to the ongoing and urgent crises facing Philadelphia: education; police reform; homelessness; and more.

Attendees will hear from Arne Duncan, Obama Administration education secretary, who will lay out how his Chicago-based nonprofit, CRED (Create Real Economic Destiny), lowers gun violence by creating economic opportunity.

We’ll hear from game-changing young mayors like Svante Myrick of Ithaca, NY, Paige Cognetti of Scranton, PA, and Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, AL.

Best-selling author, professor, preacher and public intellectual Rev. Michael Eric Dyson will be there, too—his new book, Long Time Coming, explores how we can address the racism underlying every aspect of our country and our communities.

We’ll also hear from Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood Foundation, one of the most effective poverty-fighting organizations in the country, as well as revered urbanist Richard Florida.

Standup comedian and Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. will discuss how comedy can be an agent of social change, and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots will share his insight on art’s transformative power as well.

There will be performances by the next generation of Philly artists, like the City’s new Youth Poet Laureate, Cydney Brown, and the students at Hill-Freedman World Academy.

And the lineup is still evolving—stay tuned to our Festival page here for details and to buy tickets, on sale soon. You could also sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of new speaker announcements and more.

Attendees will also have the chance to be part of a revolutionary approach to alleviating poverty in Philly, as we’ll be awarding $25,000 to RIP Medical Debt; Jerry Ashton, co-founder of the New York-based nonprofit, will share how his organization can use that investment to alleviate $2,500,000 worth of medical debt within a to-be-announced zip code right here in Philly.

The award comes through Spring Point Partners, as part of the annual Jeremy Nowak Urban Innovation Award, and attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the award, as well. Previous award-winners include Women’s Community Revitalization Project and I Am Because We Are.

Among this year’s sponsors are Presenting Partner Comcast NBC Universal, Spring Point Partners, Darco Capital, FS Investments, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Hamilton Lane, Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Foundation and Firstrust Bank, Nouveau Capital, Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation, Keating Mara & Associates, Santander Bank, The GIANT Company, Philadelphia Foundation, Brandywine Realty Trust, Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, WSFS Bank, Accountability Lab, Clarke & Cohen, Connelly Foundation, and so many other local drivers of change in our beloved, beleaguered Philadelphia.

There will be conversations and Q&As, laughter, connection, reflection and so much more. We can’t wait to see you at our most powerful IWSS Festival yet.

Mark your calendar: December 1, 8, 15, and 22, 5:30-7:30pm, via Zoom.

Stay tuned to our Festival page here for details and to buy tickets, on sale soon.

Header image: Ideas We Should Steal Festival 2020 speakers Mayor Randall Woodfin, Arne Duncan, Cheryl Dorsey and Roy Wood Jr.

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