Brown School conference to focus on ‘12 Grand Challenges’ for America

National experts, advocates and leading academics will gather at Washington University in St. Louis Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 14-16, as part of a policy conference designed to hammer out constructive solutions to pressing social issues facing the country and the next administration.

grand-challengesThe conference, “Social Innovation for America’s Renewal,” will tackle issues facing the presidential and other campaigns this fall.

The gathering will focus on evidence-based policy ideas for 12 Grand Challenges — from mass incarceration to economic inequality to family violence — identified by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare.

Together, these challenges represent a bold and strategic agenda for social change. They focus on improving individual and family well-being, strengthening the social fabric, and helping to create a more just society.

The conference, organized by the Brown School’s Center for Social Development, will be held in the Clark-Fox Forum in Hillman Hall. Speakers include:

  • Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and senior fellow the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities;
  • Mark H. Greenberg, acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families; and
  • Angelo McClain, CEO of the National Association of Social Workers.

About Grand Challenges

The Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science. Led by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, it’s a call to action for all of us to work together to tackle our nation’s toughest social problems.

The initiative actively engages leaders from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, including technology, medicine, government, and business to achieve its ultimate goals of promoting individual and family well-being, a stronger social fabric, and a just society. To learn more, visit

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