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Join Us At The Festival

For this year’s Ideas We Should Steal Festival, the Citizen looked across the country for the ideas, leaders, change-makers and innovations that are transforming cities in America to optimize Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity.

We’re bringing them to Philadelphia on Monday, December 13 and Tuesday, December 14, to share with our audience of passionate citizens a way to create a city that meets this particular moment, full of challenges and opportunities, so that all Philadelphians can flourish and grow.

Tickets to whole Festival: $30 (includes refreshments on December 13; breakfast, lunch and snacks on December 14)

Tickets to “What Would Jimmy Do?” on December 13: Free

Ticket plus 1-year Citizen membership: $50

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Festival Speakers

Here's who's coming (so far)

The Citizen’s fourth annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival is bringing to Philly changemakers and problem-solvers from around the country to share how they are transforming the way cities respond to this moment to optimize Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity.

Here’s who you’ll see at Fitler Club on December 13 and December 14, 2021.

Check back often for additional bold-faced names we’ll be announcing over the next couple weeks.


What We Saw Last Year

What are the bold ideas that can transform Philadelphia? Who is pushing change and bringing solutions to the problems plaguing cities across the country? How can we create a more just, equitable and prosperous Philadelphia?

We heard answers to these questions at The Philadelphia Citizen’s third annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival, held virtually on the first four Tuesdays in December, 2020.

See our four-minute recap of the event, and see all our conversations with such luminaries as Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, retired LAPD sergeant-turned-police reformer Cheryl Dorsey, Chicago Beyond CEO Liz Dozier, comedian and Daily Show correspondent 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:

What We Saw at the 2020 Ideas We Should Steal Festival

The Citizen Recommends: Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

Join us December 13th and 14th for ideas from across the country to foster “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity” here in Philly

The Citizen Recommends: Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival

Join us December 13th and 14th for ideas from across the country to foster “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity” here in Philly

As those of you who are regular readers of The Citizen know, our daily mission is to apply a pressing question to every issue we face here in Philadelphia: What’s the solution?

Often, we find the answers scattered in cities around the country, Boston or Chicago, Portland or Newark, New York City or Atlanta. Because, as we have happily and hopefully recorded here, solutions to our problems do exist. There are ways to make positive change. And there are people—so many, many innovative people—who are bettering the lives of their fellow citizens by rethinking the usual way of doing business in American cities.

This December 13th and 14th, we’re bringing several of those innovators here to Philadelphia, as part of our Fourth Annual Ideas We Should Steal FestivalTM, powered by Comcast NBCUniversal. Our theme this year, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Prosperity,” reflects the year we’ve had, struggling with the physical and economic ravages of Covid-19, and the constant threats to our democracy.

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Some of the speakers at this year’s event include:

  • Aqeela Sherrills, a community gun violence activist credited with making a historic peace between Los Angeles’s Bloods and Crips, on his work with the Newark Community Street Team has helped reduce violence, including shootings, and police relations in New Jersey’s largest city.
  • Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman and REFORM Alliance CEO Robert Rooks, advocates of real solutions to reform our prison and probation systems.
  • Former Young & Rubicam CEO Peter Georgescu, author of Capitalists Arise!: End Economic Inequality, Grow the Middle Class, Heal the Nation, on urging a radical change to corporate practices for the sake of our country.
  • Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, on the art of pragmatic progressivism in a talk headlined “There’s No Conservative or Liberal Way to Fill a Pothole.”
  • Terri Sorenson, executive director of Friends of the Children, a 12-year mentorship program for young people, and Omolara Fatiregun, CEO of anti-poverty tech company Thrive!, on forging a path to end generational poverty.
  • Tony-award winning singer/songwriter/playwright Stew and Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, who will explore lessons for today from the legendary writer and public intellectual.
  • And many more who you can find here. (And stay attuned for even more in the coming weeks.)

This year, our festival of ideas spans an evening and a day. On December 13th, MSNBC anchor (and Citizen board member) Ali Velshi will host a reception and conversation/performance with Stew and Glaude called “What Would Jimmy Do?” On the 14th, we’ll have a series of panels and talks about the economy, politics, race, criminal justice, climate, hope and more. 

All this will take place at Fitler Club, before an audience of the city’s most engaged change makers, civic leaders, aspiring problem solvers—and, hopefully, you.

December 13th, 6 pm-8 pm, Fitler Club Ballroom, 2400 Market Street, free; December 14th, 8:30 am-2 pm, Fitler Club Ballroom, $35. More information and tickets here.



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