Washington Ideas Forum
Breakout Lunches

September 28, 2016
Washington, DC

During the first day of the Forum, guests will have the opportunity to attend one Washington Ideas Food for Thought Breakout Lunch. Hosted at locations steps away from the Harman Center for the Arts, The Atlantic will curate thought-provoking deep dive sessions on some of the most consequential issues of our times.


Food for Thought Topics:

Where We're Going
STAR WARS, INTERSTELLAR, GRAVITY, THE MARTIAN – Hollywood still captivates our imaginations about the possibilities outside Earth’s atmosphere. Although our moonshots have lost the thrust they once had during the space race, new technologies are being deployed to take us farther for longer. As our oceans rise and our deserts grow, The Atlantic will gather the top minds pushing the human race to leap to Mars and raise the first generation of martians.

  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • John Grunsfeld, Former Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Sarah Stewart Johnson, Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, Georgetown University
  • With Ross Andersen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

Location: The Forum, Basement Level of Harman Center, 610 F St. NW


Who’s Winning the Election
The Atlantic is “of no party or clique” but we will dissect the state of the the presidential race, the first debate and how this election will affect the country. With a roundtable of journalists from The Atlantic’s Politics and Policy team, we’ll talk about the effects of populism and progressivism this cycle, cynicism within the American electorate and what Congress could look like in 2017 and beyond.

  • James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
  • Vann Newkirk, Staff Writer, The Atlantic
  • Alex Wagner, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
  • With Yoni Appelbaum, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

Location: Hill Country, Main Level, 410 7th St. NW


What The Kids Are Thinking

Children of the 1990s and 2000s, our kids grew up surrounded by the technological revolution and came of age in the worst economy in a century. Liberal arts degrees, a challenging job market and rising housing prices have all combined for a prolonged adolescence. As people live longer and retire later, how can today’s young people plan for a successful career as the world rapidly shifts? In a time of tense partisanship, what are young adults looking for in building our future? How have cultural shifts changed the next generation?

  • Neha Gandhi, SVP Content Strategy and Innovation, Refinery29
  • Brad Jenkins, Executive Producer, Funny or Die DC
  • Natalie Moss, Director,  Millennial Week
  • With Derek Thompson, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

Location: Hill Country, Basement Level, 410 7th St. NW


What We’re Eating
The Capital has become a foodie's paradise. Bon Appetit recently named Washington the restaurant city of 2016, but even those roaming the halls of Congress and the West Wing need to pay attention to what's on their plates. As debates rage about the ethics of GMOs and labeling, the costs and benefits of locally sourced farm-to-table foods and how to provide low-cost healthy options to those living in food deserts, The Atlantic will convene local food experts, chefs and restaurateurs for a conversation about food from sustainability and food waste to healthy eating, and how food culture is affecting our waistlines.

  • Maria Rose Belding, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Means Database
  • Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Chef and Founder, Ripple DC
  • Danielle Vogel, Owner, Glen's Garden Market
  • With Olga Khazan, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

Location: The Loft at 600F, 2nd Floor, 600 F St. NW


Are We Safe
News of the world continues to be dominated by civil war in Syria and the global reach of the Islamic State and its followers. Lone wolf radicals in San Bernardino, Orlando and New York have given rise to renewed fears of terrorism on America's shores, but should we really be afraid? How should American foreign policy handle these threats, and is our strategy on terrorism working? The Atlantic will dive into the roots and the future of ISIS, how terrorism is affecting the election and the future of our national security policy with some of the world’s foremost experts.

  • Mary Louise Kelly, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic and Defense Correspondent, NPR
  • Graeme Wood, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic and author of “What ISIS Really Wants”
  • With Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large, The Atlantic

Location: The Loft at 600F, 3rd Floor, 600 F St. NW


Where Will the Jobs Be
While the American unemployment rate hovers below 5%—levels not seen since 2008—many economists are worrying about the people who have stopped looking for work. Automation, from manufacturing assembly lines to computer programs that review legal documents, are replacing people in more and more sectors and could eventually put millions of Americans out of work. The introduction of self-driving cars, likely less than a decade away, could eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs from our economy. In the future, where will the jobs be? What will Americans do for work in 50 years?

  • Shayna Strom, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Annie Lowrey, Journalist and Author
  • David Burstein, CEO and Co-Founder, Run for America
  • With Rebecca Rosen, Senior Editor, The Atlantic

Location: Rosa Mexicano, 575 7th St. NW

Presented by

Atlantic Live

Upcoming Events