The Common Good Forum & American Spirit Awards 2018


What a phenomenal and inspiring day! Our experts led thought-provoking discussions on the most significant ideas and issues in the news today. Our awardees were moving and uplifting. While many of our speakers warned us of the challenges ahead, our awardees reminded us of the best of the American spirit.

That was a very special day…Brilliant and interesting speakers, a wide variety of topics, an intimate setting—it was all so thoughtful and enjoyable, I wanted to thank you and to congratulate you.
— Business CEO & Forum attendee

Michael R. Bloomberg presented Parkland student activist David Hogg with The Changemaker Scholarship for Citizen Activism with a quip from Mayor Bloomberg about the 17 year old senior: “When we were backstage he asked me what should I do and I said, well, start out by finishing high school.”

David is a courageous and inspiring young man…Most of us can’t begin to imagine what David and his classmates went through but they refuse to become another statistic.
— Michael R. Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
This battle will not take days or years, it will take lifetimes. And the only way we are going to get through it is not as partisans but as Americans.

— David Hogg, Parkland Student Activist Leader on efforts to change gun laws

Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst Magazines, honored Fareed Zakaria, CNN anchor, author, and columnist, with the American Spirit Award for Thought Leadership.

I’ve presented many awards in my life and I have to say it’s so much fun to present an award where the candidate actually deserves it.
— Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst Magazines

There was also a very moving special tribute to Robert F. Kennedy, and the American Spirit Award for Citizen Activism was given to Kerry Kennedy by Alec Baldwin.

Daddy believed in the power of one, and, everywhere he travelled, he made a point of meeting with local activists, community organizers and student groups, because he understood how few will have the greatness to bend history itself. Instead, as you just heard, he believed all of us have a role in sending forth tiny ripples of hope. That is what citizen activism is all about.
— Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and author, Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope.

Conversation on domestic and foreign issues were sparked and explained by an array of guests who are experts on an array of topics from International Peace to Strategic Studies.

I call Iran both the arsonist and the fire brigade in today’s Middle East because on one hand they fuel radicalism …At the same time, they’ve actually fought against radicalism.
— Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Every country has its own Mafia. In Russia, the Mafia has its own country.
— Garry Kasparov, leading Russian dissident & world champion chessmaster
The real challenge for the Chinese government is…the basic bargain they have made with the Chinese people that as long as people continue to get more prosperous that they will not be political demanding, that they will accept the authoritarian control…in return for prosperity.
— Dr. Kori Schake, International Institute for Strategic Studies
For the common good, it is terribly important we take this [drug abuse] epidemic on in a wise way with the right resources. This is a winnable win. We can do this.
— Admiral James Winnefeld, former Vice Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff

We were extremely proud and grateful to all of our outstanding participants: Antony Blinken, former Deputy Secretary of State; Congressman Mike Rogers, former Chair of the House Intel Committee; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; former Congressman David Jolly; Dr. Yascha Mounk, leading expert on the crisis in liberal democracy; Dr. Stephen Roach, economist at Yale University; Dr. Charles Armstrong, The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies at Columbia University; John Della Volpe, Director of Polling at Harvard Kennedy School; Ambassador Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations; Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist and political commentator; Bill Schneider, leading political analyst and author; Mike Espy, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; Ana Cabrera, anchor, CNN Newsroom; John Harwood, CNBC Chief Washington correspondent; Paula R. Stern, founder of Stern Group Inc.; Admiral (Ret.) James Winnefeld; Garry Kasparov, world champion chess player; Karim Sadjadpour, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Dr. Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Interested in attending future events?