September's Big Idea: How We Think About Government

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (All day)

Three Magnets Brewing Company
600 Franklin St SE #105
Olympia, WA 98501

Everyone has their story of frustration with government…a lot of people have given up on government…if you are one of those people, I would ask that you reconsider, because things are changing. Politics is not changing; government is changing. And because government ultimately derives its power from us – remember, “we the people?”, how we think about [government] is going to affect how that change happens. Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code For America (TED Talk)

Cheryl KingIn the September Big Idea session, Cheryl Simrell King will guide the group to ponder the question: “what can we learn from new social movements (Code for America, the Occupy Movements,, People’s Climate March, Black Lives Matter, etc.) that can change government for the better?” Many activists and thinkers believe we are in a liminal moment of social and cultural transformation; indeed, many think that without transformation, life
as we know it will cease to exist. What does this social and cultural transformation mean for governing and for government? How can we change our thinking about government (especially those of us in the trenches)?

Cheryl Simrell King, Ph.D. has taught, researched, and practiced in the areas of policy, governance, citizen engagement, community building, sustainability, and design thinking for 30 years, the last 15 years in the Olympia area. She is author and editor of two editions of a text on the roles and relationships among and between citizens and their governments (Government is Us: Strategies for an Anti-Government Era, 1995) and Government is Us: 2.0, 2011), and coauthor of a text on transformational practices in administration (Transformational Public Service: Portraits of Theory in Practice, 2005). She has published numerous articles in journals and trade publications.

Recently, one of her coauthored articles was chosen as one of the 75 most influential articles in the 75-year history of the journal Public Administration Review. In addition to serving on the faculty at The Evergreen State College and, recently as Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program, she also works with local and regional governments advising on, designing, and deploying engagement strategies. Her most recent work examines the potential in new social movements to evoke transformational change in governing and government.

So what's the Big Idea?

  • Every third Wednesday, Evergreen faculty members spark conversation about big ideas.
  • You'll enjoy great conversation with good food and drink along with fellow Greeners at Three Magnets Brewing Company, 600 Franklin Street SE #105, Olympia, WA.
  • Informal and free to attend, food and drinks will be available to order from the restaurant.

All are welcome, but space is limited to 36. If you have any questions, contact or 360.867.6551.