Unleash the Power of Public Options

at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN – May 16-17, 2023


We are in a paradigm-shifting moment with the largest public spending initiative in the last 100 years and the opportunity to situate public options & public procurement as smart ways to combat corporate concentration and repair the public’s trust with government. From CalRx, California’s plan to manufacture insulin, to Illinois’ proposal to build publicly owned and operated grocery stores, there is growing excitement about public options and a growing field of people working to build them. 

In a first-of-its-kind convening, we will gather campaigners, academics, government leaders, funders, and other stakeholders working on creating public options across the country. We’ll begin to map the field as we uncover the breadth and depth of public options initiatives – spanning from grocery stores to public banks, healthcare to childcare, and so much more. 

We will gather to answer the question of how to ensure that the programs we are building are successful at delivering for their communities? How do we build support for public option campaigns through compelling narratives? How do we implement public options effectively and learn from implementation challenges? How can we organize and leverage success from one public option campaign in one state to another—or at the federal level? 


  • 9:00am Doors open/Breakfast on site
  • 9:30am Welcome
  • 9:35am A Theory of Public Options
  • 10:10am Case Studies
  • 10:45am Break
  • 11:00am The Moment 
  • 11:15am Deep Dive Breakouts
    • Banking, Energy, Childcare, Housing, Healthcare/Pharma
  • 12:15pm Lunch 
  • 1:15pm Polling
  • 1:25pm  Lightning Talks
    • Grocery Stores, Child Care, Tax Filing, Gig Work, Public Power
  • 2:15pm Break
  • 2:30pm Mapping the Field 
  • 3:00pm Strategy Breakouts 
    • Political Strategy, Winning Narratives, Administrative Pathways, Industrial Policy, Implementation Obstacles
  • 4:15pm Closing & What’s Next
  • 5:00pm Reception