The American Assembly's Next Generation Project
“The Next Generation Project: U.S. Global Policy and the Future of International Institutions,” continues Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vision when he, as president of Columbia University, founded The American Assembly in 1950. Eisenhower believed that reasonable people who cared about critical national and international issues could develop responsible public policy through the reconciliation of divergent views and interests. The Assembly has carried out Eisenhower’s mandate by sponsoring research on a vast range of topics, domestic and foreign; organizing meetings; issuing reports of findings and recommendations; and by commissioning books. The Assembly has joined hundreds of other educational institutions to co-sponsor regional, state, and local Assemblies throughout the country; international Assemblies have convened in more than a dozen countries.
The Next Generation Project is premised on the belief that new voices and fresh ideas will strengthen the nation’s discussion of U.S. global policy and the future of international institutions. As part of the project, The Assembly will identify emerging leaders from professional and demographic sectors that have traditionally been underrepresented in foreign policy discussions, and bring them together at meetings across the country that will combine The Assembly's time-tested process with innovative approaches to generate new ideas about U.S. global policy and the future of international institutions; influence discussions about the future of America’s role in the world; and cultivate new policy networks.
Following a project launch in Austin in June 2006, the meeting unfolded in three stages. Stage One, with Assemblies in Dallas, San Diego, and Denver, considered the future global opportunities and threats faced by the United States and the world. Stage Two, with Assemblies in Chicago and Washington, DC, explored whether the current institutional architecture will be effective in meeting the global challenges identified in Stage One. The national meeting in Washington, D.C. cosponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in June 2008 during the run-up to the presidential election, offers policy recommendations for the future.