“You just might return civility to community dialogue.”

That was the response we received after describing The Policy Circle over breakfast to a group of participants at the 2016 State Policy Network (SPN) Conference.

And we realized that, yes, we just might.  That kind quote came from an SPN board member.

Nashville, known for its music, food, and being one of the fastest growing cities in America, was also the venue for the 2016 State Policy Network Conference.  More than 1300 people attended, including Lisa, Danica, Beth and Sylvie from The Policy Circle.

The Policy Circle Team made its first major appearance at the conference, meeting dozens of contacts at state level think tanks, as well as others keeping freedom and free-markets at the forefront of policy dialogue.   As a sponsor of the SPN 2016 5K race, The Policy Circle also motivated dozens of people to get up and exercise mid-week!

So what is the State Policy Network and why would The Policy Circle spend a week at this conference?  As Policy Circle members, you’ve likely already read the work or possibly attended events put on by think tanks that are part of SPN, including: American Enterprise Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Reclaim NY, Empire Center for Public Policy,  Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, Yankee Institute, The Show-Me Institute, Free-to-Choose Network, and others.


Lisa, Danica, Beth and Sylvie gather before The Policy Circle 5K at 2016 SPN conference

“These think tanks are a gold mine of information for a grassroots organization like ours.  Typically, think tanks reach out to legislators but when they hear about our grassroots approach to policy discussion, they instantly see the value,” said Sylvie Legere, President and co-founder of The Policy Circle. “The Policy Circle is filling an unmet need to engage everyday women in policy discussion. Nearly every think tank we met with indicated they knew of women who would want to get involved in our movement.”

The conference offered dozens of policy, fundraising, and communication seminars and recognized various individuals through annual awards.  Recipients included the Edgar County Watchdogs, two men who have singlehandedly rooted out corruption in downstate Illinois and have inspired othspn-logoers to do the same.   Other speakers included David French and  Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs,” who delivered a particularly funny and somehow relevant speech on free-markets and the “dirty job” of castrating lambs (we are not kidding).

Read more about SPN and the SPN conference here.  If you’d like to find your free-market state think tank, you can refer to this directory.