Ready, Set, Pitch: Executive Leadership Conference Shakes up Format

This year's conference focuses on transformational leadership, agile government and disruptive technology.

In keeping with the #ChangeAgent mantra of its government chair—Federal Communications Commission Chief Information Officer David Bray—the decades-old Executive Leadership Conference looks like it has modernized.

The event runs from Oct. 23-25 in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the meat of the agenda includes “co-creation” and center-stage sessions. Co-creation sessions will include a series of pitches themed around transformational leadership, agile government and disruptive technology. The winning idea will get to present to the Office of Management and Budget and the presidential transition team.

Bray told Nextgov to expect a diverse array of speakers, with conference organizers pushing hard to make panels include one member of the Senior Executive Service, one GS 13-15 and one CEO from the private sector. (The Government Executive Media Group is an ELC media partner.)

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Center-stage conversations will feature an atmosphere similar to the television show “Shark Tank” and a series of short, 12-minute presentations in two categories: “Voices of Change” and “Perfect Pitch.” Voices of Change presentations will discuss “what’s already working” in public service, Bray said, and the audience gets a say in which team ought to brief OMB.

The Perfect Pitch track will feature teams presenting ideas for OMB to deliver results differently during the next administration, and again, the audience will have a vote in which team “wins” as well.

The coolest new addition to ELC is undoubtedly the “experienced vs. edgy” leadership debates, giving speakers from different generations equal footing to address tech issues. We know millennials and boomers have unique opinions; at ELC, we’ll actually discuss the how and why.

Finally, Tuesday’s closing conversation includes Danish Ambassador to the United States Lars Gert Lose, and Bray said he’ll discuss why the federal government needs to shift from electronic government to electronic public service. More than 95 percent of Denmark’s population is online, and its connectivity has allowed its government to take advantage of the internet better than the U.S. federal government has.