On November 10, the Open Philanthropy Project held a day-long convening in Washington, D.C. to discuss possible priorities for our work on U.S. policy.
Our main goal was to present our picture of several policy issues, as well as to receive input into our upcoming decisions about which issue(s) we should focus on. For each issue, we laid out what sort of change we’d like to see, why we find the issue especially promising for philanthropy, what the current landscape looks like (including other funders), and what possible strategies might look like. We sought feedback on all of these points, as well as ideas for promising issue areas and promising strategies that haven’t occurred to us.
Because we covered multiple issues, we tried to convene a set of people with fairly broad experience in areas relevant to influencing policy, representing a variety of backgrounds and including people who have focused both on shorter- and longer-term strategy. We particularly sought out attendees whom we see as strategic thinkers and whom we believed were likely to be honest and direct with us.
The briefing materials we provided - giving basic background and key questions for each topic on our agenda - are available here (PDF), slightly edited to be appropriate for public distribution.
A summary of points raised at the convening, including a partial list of participants, is available here (PDF).