The Next Generation Project, led by the Strauss Center's Director of Studies Frank Gavin, released its Midwest assembly report today, providing insights from the country's next generation of leaders on how the United States and the world should respond to the global challenges of the 21st century.

The Next Generation Project is The American Assembly's ambitious, nonpartisan, multiyear initiative involving three-day Assemblies held in regions of emerging economic and political power and importance to the nation.

The Midwest Assembly is the fourth in the Next Generation Project series. The Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University cosponsored the event. Jessica Stern, Lecturer in Public Policy and a faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Senator Richard Durbin addressed the approximately sixty-five emerging leaders from business, government, law, technology companies, international institutions, academia and the media.

Central to the project has been identifying Next Generation Fellows – the nation's emerging leaders representing a spectrum of views, interests and backgrounds – and bringing them together to discuss innovative responses to global challenges. Fellows assess whether the current national security, multilateral and international institutions are sufficient to meet the challenges of the future and explore innovative organizational responses to an era of rapid globalization. The project aims to build new policy networks, which will generate creative ideas and help to shape these important discussions in the years and decades to come.

Three other Next Generation Project Assemblies have already been held. The reports from those meetings, held in Dallas, San Diego and Denver, and additional information about the initiative can be found on the project's web site, The project is led by a distinguished steering committee and senior advisory council, which is chaired by LBJ Centennial Chair in National Policy and Assembly trustee Admiral Bob Inman.

The project is directed by Gavin, who in addition to being the Director of Studies at the Strauss Center, is the Tom Slick Professor in International Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

The American Assembly, which is affiliated with Columbia University, was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1950 as one of this country's first nonpartisan, national public affairs forums. The Assembly encourages creative long-term answers to complex policy questions through its thoughtful, collaborative process, and will employ its time-honored methods while embracing new techniques to explore innovative responses to the challenges and opportunities the United States and the world face in this age of rapid globalization.