2010-2014 Past Events


 September 18, 2014: The Future of American Politics: Understanding Political Polarization

haidt.in_washington_square_park.2013.400k.by_Mathieu_Asselin.jpgJonathan Haidt is a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.  His academic specialization is morality and the moral emotions.  Haidt is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), which became a New York Times bestseller.  He was named one of the “top global thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the “top world thinkers” by Prospect magazine. His three TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times.

Presentation: click HERE

 May 15, 2014: Income Inequality & Disparity: How Serious a Problem?


William Cohan, New York Times best‐selling author, former investment banker, acclaimed author, new book "The Silence" former featured writer for The New York Times and Fortune, contributing editor on Bloomberg TV, featured guest on MSNBC, CNN, Current TV Network, and the BBC News



Bruce Mizrach, Associate Professor of Economics at Rutgers University, Editor‐in‐Chief of Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics

presentationU.S. Income


David Troutt, Professor of Law at Rutgers University, founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME), authority on the geography of poverty

presentation: Structural Inequality


April 3, 2014: Income Inequality

LKentworthy.jpgLane Kenworthy is professor of sociology and political science at the University of Arizona. His books include Social Democratic America (2014), Progress for the Poor (2011), Jobs with Equality (2008), and Egalitarian Capitalism (2004). His essays and shorter pieces appear frequently at Consider the Evidence (his blog), Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Boston Review, and elsewhere

 Slide Presentation: Should We Worry About Inequality


March 20, 2014: Renewing American Democracy and the American Dream in 2014

Program #3: Saving the Middle Class and More

JNichols.jpgJournalist and author John Nichols discusses the political and media reforms that are essential to restoring the power of the people to set America’s course                                                             

Washington Correspondent, The Nation; best-selling author; co-founder of Free Press, the nation’s media reform network

An award-winning journalist who has appeared frequently as a political commentator on radio and TV; Nichols is a contributing editor for The Progressive and In These Times; associate editor of the Capital Times daily newspaper in Madison, WI; and a contributor to the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. He has testified before the US Congress and the Federal Communications Commission; keynoted congresses of the International Federation of Journalists in Athens and Cadiz; presented at the United Nations Conference on Freedom of Expression in Oslo; and appeared in a number of documentaries, including “OutFoxed” and Bill Moyers’ “The United States of ALEC.” Nichols is the author of the best-selling biography of Dick Cheney titled Dick: The Man Who Is President, as well as Uprising, a critically-acclaimed analysis of the rise of protest movements from state capitols to Occupy Wall Street. His most recent book (with Prof. Robert W. McChesney) is Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.

February 20, 2014: Communicating with Others on Climate Issues- Meet the 6 Americas

GFeinberg.jpgGeoffrey Feinberg, Yale Project for Climate Communications (YPCC) and the Garrison Institute

Our distinguished expert, Professor Geoffrey Feinberg, offered seminal research conducted by his team at the Yale University Project on Climate Communication. You will learn about the “six Americas,” each of whom view climate change through a different lens. You will have the opportunity to share personal experiences and develop strategies to win the climate change conversation.

Geoffrey Feinberg is Research Director with the Yale University Project on Climate Communication. He speaks on how “six Americas” perceive the benefits and costs of reducing fossil fuel use or global warming; their support for different national climate change and energy policies; and their beliefs about who has influence over the decisions that elected officials make.”


Feinberg NJPPN Climate Presentation click HERE

Climate Nexus Presentation click HERE

Climate Nexus, www.climatenexus.org (leading the breakout sessions)

Co-Sponsor: FDU Institute for Sustainable Enterprise

For a fascinating preview of Professor Feinberg's talk, please see the "Six Americas" study here: Download Now

January 16th, 2014: Winning Against Money Influence

IMG_3334-XL.jpgMoney influence on election campaigns, elected representatives and public policy is considered a root cause for undermining democracy, impacting the economy, jobs, income inequality, the erosion of the middle class and just about every issue that touches the lives of ordinary citizens.

North Jersey Public Policy Network invites you to join us along with expert speakers Andy Kroll and David Donnelly for a program where we will provide background information on the issue and discuss how it is possible to rescue democracy and restore it to the average American.

David Donnelly, Executive Director, Public Campaign Action Fund

David is a veteran of money in politics campaigns at the state and national level, serving in a variety of campaign management, research, outreach, communications, fundraising, and strategist roles for major initiatives since the mid-1990s. He joined Public Campaign Action Fund in 2002

Andy Kroll is a staff writer in the Washington, D.C., bureau of Mother Jones magazine. He writes about money in politics, campaigns and elections, technology, and the economy. He has also written for the Nation, the Wall Street Journal, and The American Prospect. A Midwest native, he graduated from the University of Michigan, and he currently lives on Capitol Hill.


September 17: The Snowden Effect with Expert NYU Professor Jay Rosen

rosen.jpgSince early June, one revelation after another has come from the leaked files of the former intelligence worker, Edward Snowden. They show that the U.S. government is tracking almost all phone calls, collecting a huge portion of internet traffic, and forcing technology companies to cooperate in surveillance. Snowden's revelations have provoked a huge debate and forced Congress to ask itself: did we really authorize this?

Tensions between the government and the press are rising. Journalists are arguing with each other over what is appropriate to report. The debate has gone global as other countries learn about the extent of the surveillance. The Guardian, which broke the story, is now collaborating with the New York Times, after the British government forced the Guardian editors to destroy hard drives containing the Snowden materials. Where is all this heading?

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University, has been writing about the Snowden effect at his blog, PressThink. He thinks the media and the surveillance state are on a collision course and will explain why.

Jay Rosen teaches journalism at New York University, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. From 1999 to 2004 he was chair of the department. He is the author of PressThink, a blog about journalism's ordeals in the age of the Web, which he launched in 2003. In 1999, Yale University Press published his book, What Are Journalists For, which was about the rise of the civic journalism movement. Rosen has a Ph.D in media studies from NYU. He writes and speaks frequently about new media and the predicament of the press in a time of rapid transformation.

 May 16: Financial Crisis--Again?

Wall Street Before & After the Bailout

From an insider of the Bush and Obama administrations -- how and why the $700 billion TARP Bailout Fund was mishandled and what it means for our country.

Neil Barofsky, Adjunct Professor of Law and Science Research Fellow at NYU School of Law.  He recently appeared on The Daily Show to talk about his new book, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street

Moderator: Cathy O'Neilformer Wall Street executive, blogger at MathBabe, and recent guest on PBS Frontline

April 18th: Energy, Jobs, & The Economy

Moderator: Matt Polsky, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Joseph Robertson, Professor, Villanova University, Citizens Climate Lobby Advocate
Bruce Mizrach, Professor of Economics. Rutgers University

March 21: Moving Toward a Renewable Energy Future

Can the world stop burning fossil fuels and run entirely on clean, renewable energy from wind, water, and solar? If so, what would it take to get there? Corporate and policy leaders at the forefront of the wind, solar and energy conservation industries will discuss the feasibility of renewable energy and conservation to meet our nation's energy needs and address climate change. The panel will also explore the business, financial and government policies needed to scale up existing technologies and develop new ones. This program is a must-see for business executives, government leaders, academics, students and anyone interested in a future without fossil fuels.

Moderator: Jonathan Cloud, Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University


Roger Dixon, President & CEO, Skylands Renewable Energy

Lyle K. Rawlings, P.E., President & CEO, Advanced Solar Products

Paul Reale, MEME, LEED-AP, Founder & CEO of Green

Event Flyer click here

February 25: “What Does the Fiscal Cliff Deal Really Mean for Taxpayers?”

Guest lecturer, Dr. Rosanne Altshuler, Rutgers University Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Economics

Dr. Altshuler currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National Tax Association and is a trustee of the American Tax Policy Institute. She has served as Director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, as Senior Economist to the 2005 President’s Advisory Panel of Federal Tax Reform, and as Special Advisor to the Joint Committee on Taxation. She is also a past editor of the National Tax Journal. 

  • Dr. Altshuler focused on the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, and answered these important questions:
  • What does it mean for the average taxpayer?
  • What will be its immediate impact on tax rates?
  • What are the implications for the future of our economy Medicare, Social Security?
  • She will address the national deficit; changes to government spending programs that are likely to result; and the expiration of the debt limit in the Spring of this year

 January 17: Why Free Speech is Corrupting Politics

Paradoxes & Problems in Campaign Finance Reform

Money’s influence on politics was once viewed as corruption. Now it is viewed as free speech. What is the history of this journey from corruption to free speech? And how do we journey back to reality? Most Americans reject money corrupting democracy. It has impacted every  public policy from gun legislation to health care policies. 

Roger Berkowitz, Associate Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights; Academic Director, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities, Bard College

“This program will appeal to people worried about the fate of the American democratic experiment. The challenge is up to all of us”

Prof. Roger Berkowitz

Video Links of Presentation:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


October 17: The Best Government Money Can Buy?

One of the most interesting thinkers and writers of our time: Professor Lawrence 
Lessig, joins NJPPN as part of its Distinguished Expert Lecture Series, Harvard law professor, author and political activist, Lessig is the author of Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop it, a hard hitting study of the corrupting effects of money on Politics, especially in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision.

In an informative and moving slide presentation, Lessig will discussed:

  • How extensively money has corrupted our system and what we need to do about it.
  • How a constitutional amendment would allow legislatures to limit political contributions from non-citizens, including corporations, anonymous organizations, and foreign nationals.
  • The urgent need for public campaign financing reform and electoral college reform.


 September 9, October 9 and 10: Obamacare: Myth vs. Reality

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, and will be fully implemented by 2014. Do you know how the new law will affect you and your family? Your business? The economy? Whether you get insurance through work, buy it yourself, have a small business, are on Medicare, or don't currently have insurance, you owe it to yourself to get the facts. NJPPN has gathered a team of leading health care experts to provide an overview of the new healthcare provisions, and answer your specific questions. 

Lindy Washburn, Senior Writer, Healthcare, The Record will moderate the discussions on September 20th and October 10th, and Robert Schermer, Principle, Strategic Innovation Management, will moderate the October 9th discussion.


--September 20, Dr. Sarah Collins, VP, Affordable Health Insurance Commonwealth Fund
--October 9, Andrew Hyman, JD Team Director, Coverage, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
--October 10, Joel C. Cantor, PhD, Director, Rutgers Center for State Health Policy

August 31: Global Warming: It's Coming Ready Or Not

As part of its Distinguished Expert Lecture Series, North Jersey Public Policy Network (NJPPN) is pleased to present world-renown climate scientist, Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and lead author of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. Trenberth was recently interviewed on PBS News Hour and CBS Evening News about the recent wildfires and heat waves, and the role of human-induced climate change. 

Presentation Link: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/Presentations/GlobWarm12.pdf

Video Presentation Link: CLICK HERE


May 17: The Facts & Fiction Behind Conspiracy Theories

North Jersey Public Policy Network will present Jonathan Kay, editor and columnist at Canada’s National Post, and author of “Among the Truthers: A Journey Into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings, and Internet Addicts.” 

Robert Becklen, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Ramapo College, also featured. 

April 19: Balancing Compassion and Capitalism.  

Hear from experts on recession, unemployment, debt, deficits, jobs, solutions

The Facts & Fiction Behind Conspiracy Theories North Jersey Public Policy Network will present Jonathan Kay, editor and columnist at Canada’s National Post, and author of “Among the Truthers: A Journey Into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings, and Internet Addicts.” Robert Becklen, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Ramapo College, also featured.


  • Dr. Bruce Mizrach, Prof. Economics, Rutgers University
  • Dr. Cathy O’Neil, PhD Harvard/MIT in Math; former Quantitative Analyst DE Shaw and Risk Metrics; data scientist at Intent Media and participant in OWS Alternative Bnking Group


  • Dr. Margaret McLaughlin, NJPPN Steering Committee

Related Material: Occupy Wall Street Isn't Dead, by Dr. Cathy O'Neil

Frontline Interview with Dr. Cathy O'Neill, click here

February 16: Creating Thriving Communities in Challenging Times will take on the challenges facing our towns as a direct result of the financial crisis. Expert speakers will discuss taxes, budget woes, job losses, diminished services, school issues and the opportunities and innovative solutions that exist to help find solutions.

Hear the facts from experts:

  • Tim Evans, Director Research, NJ Future
  • Gina Genovese, Executive Director, Courage to Connect NJ (former Mayor Long Hill Township)
  • Randall Solomon, Director, Institute for Sustainability & Governance, The College of NJ
  • Phil Abramson, Project Manager, Jonathan Rose Companies, developers

 Presentation Link: http://www.slideshare.net/njfuture/new-jersey-future-regionalizing-school-districts


Link to video: http://blip.tv/play/lG2C2%2BFTAg.html




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