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 Run the Public Square 

Peter C. Groff

A Lecture Series

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Leadership. Decision Making. Policy Creation.

Our public square is in disarray, and the leaders are in a vicious cycle of incompetence.  

We have too few leaders that exhibit the requisite skills, either the hard or soft, needed to lead effectively. We don't have leaders making strong or decisive decisions on the critical issues in the public square, and we don't have leaders creating transformative policy. 

The next generation of leaders needs to break this cycle of the ineffective and ineffectual form of leadership and need the training to run a more robust and more dynamic public square and move America even closer to the promises of her origin. 

Run the Public Square (RPS) is a lecture series that delves into the three areas a transformative public servant needs to master. The series will train a leader in how to make meaningful change in the public square and break the cycle of unproductive and inefficient leadership. The RPS seminar will engage future and emerging leaders in lectures, substantive case studies, in-depth discussions and presentations with current and former elected officials, and complex problem-solving exercises. RPS is for: 

  • Emerging Leaders - College students who are interested in politics, law, public policy, and potentially sociology 

  • Developing Leaders – People considering running for office or currently running for office 

  • Engaged Leaders – People recently elected to office or seeking to become leaders in legislature 

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Honorable Peter C. Groff

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The Honorable Peter C. Groff is the Principal and Chief Strategist at MCG2 Consulting, LLC. and is a noted public policy innovator, national policy and political analyst, and leadership lecturer. 

Peter has held senior-level positions at all three levels of government and has more than 25 years of public service and political experience. He is currently serving as a policy and political consultant to numerous individuals and entities across the country. Before beginning his consulting firm, Groff served as the first-ever Visiting Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.  Before his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he was the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education during the first term of President Barack H. Obama.  The Center was part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  During President Obama's second term, the President also appointed Groff to the White House Commission on U. S. Presidential Scholars. 


Groff also served as a Senior Fellow of Urban Affairs at the Progressive Policy Institute located in Washington, D.C.  

Groff served as the 47th President of the Colorado State Senate. He was the first African American in Colorado to ascend to the post, and only the third, at the time, African American in the nation's history to hold the gavel as State Senate President.  Senator Groff, who was renowned as the "Conscience of the Senate," served in the Colorado General Assembly for nearly ten years.  During his tenure, he passed landmark and visionary legislation in the areas of education, criminal justice, and health care.

Before Peter's service in the legislature and even during his tenure, he taught public policy at the University of Denver. He also directed the Policy Center for New Politics and Policy at the University. 

Raised in Denver, Colorado, Senator Groff was born in Chicago, Illinois. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands (Calif.), a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law, and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Denver.


The Seminars

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Dare Greatly or Get Out the Way

 The Cornerstones of Public and Political Leadership

"Dare Greatly…" is a seminar on the cornerstones of public and political leadership. The title is from my favorite political quote about leadership. It is from a 1910 speech by President Theodore Roosevelt about the person "…in the arena" and the rapper Ludacris who, on a top-five 2001 song, asked people to relocate from his intended path. Leadership in the public square is about people who are willing to stand in the public arena and move obstacles and challenges out of the way with their leadership skills. Civic leadership is both a skill and an art, and impactful leaders need to understand one and cultivate the other. I will cover the four cornerstones of public and political leadership skills and the eight rules of art that all outstanding leaders have.   "Dare Greatly…" will be conducted through lectures, case studies, video interviews with leaders who have exhibited greatness in the public square and leadership enhancing exercises.


Tough Issues Makes for Hard Choices       Decision Making in the Public Square

Present-day America faces myriad difficult issues and challenges. This difficulty requires the leaders in the public square to make tough choices to curtail or end the problem(s) in the public square. "Tough" will highlight the most severe policy challenges facing the public square, both persistent and crisis issues, and engage participants in frank and open discussions about those issues. Conducted through lectures and case studies, "Tough" will also feature video interviews with leaders who have had to make hard choices on severe problems for the public square.

             The Pathways to Solutions                       Policy Creation

"Pathways…" is a detailed examination of how public officials create transformative policies that solve the issues and challenges in the public square. Contrary to popular opinion, multiple avenues need to must be traveled in the creation of policy. In "Pathways," I will introduce the "Policy Development Box."  A flow chart I've created and shows how they can navigate the five specific pathways that will lead to public policy action. "Pathways" will be conducted through lectures, case studies, video interviews with leaders who have created genuinely exceptional policies in the public square.


We are still building the United States on the guiding principles and purposes "...a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." discussed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1787. But we're not having substantive conversations anymore. We speak at each other, we don't listen to "the other," and it's all done over the distance and safety of social media. It is time we have civil and thoughtful conversations about those hopeful ideals and directions and how they impact the critical policy questions of our time.  

Aspiration - An American Conversation seeks to host these much-needed conversations and engage Americans in discussions about this country's foundational principles, the pressing issues of the day, and how close we are to the nation the Founding Fathers envisioned and of which the modern Founding Fathers dreamed. 

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Run the Public Square Lecture Dates

  • Event
    Thu, Feb 06
    San Francisco
    Feb 06, 2025, 10:00 AM
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Feb 06, 2025, 10:00 AM
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Nothing Like It
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