NewTalk presents focused discussions by experts on the most important domestic topics shaping American society today. We bring together experts in theory, policy and practice—from academics and lawmakers to admired practitioners—to share their diverse perspectives on pressing domestic issues.

At a time when politicians are mired in shallow, partisan debate, NewTalk asks the hard questions to build an honest and informed dialogue that can lead to real progress. We're not afraid to confront issues where the current systems are failing and fundamental reform may be needed. Our approach calls for a clean slate. If we're going to make America better, we need to face up to the tough trade-offs and question our most basic assumptions.

NewTalk is nonpartisan: we invite experts to participate who have different points of view, asking only that they show a deep understanding of the issues at hand and a commitment to the kind of open discussion that might take place around a dinner table. (Candor loves company). Their discourse is focused by a moderator, and by a time limit of hours or days. The result is talk that is more than just talk: talk that can lead to action. NewTalk aims for new ways to improve our country and how we live.

NewTalk has been organized under the auspices of Common Good, a nonpartisan coalition to restore reliability to America's legal system. Common Good was founded in 2002 by Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense (Random House, 1995) and The Collapse of the Common Good (Ballantine, 2002). Howard is Vice-Chairman of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP and a prominent New York civic leader. Common Good projects include a joint venture with the Harvard School of Public Health to design a reliable system of health justice; the "Boundaries of Litigation" forum of leading judges, legal scholars and policymakers; a program to restore the Value of Play for America's youth; and a National Petition for Common Sense to reform America's legal system.

Frequently asked questions about NewTalk.


Who talks at NewTalk See All

Dan Swinney The Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council
Eric Hanushek Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Doug Chapin MPR Associates, Inc.
Nick Taylor American Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, When FDR Put the Nation to Work
Ken Feinberg The Feinberg Group
Rebecca Love Kourlis Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System

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Upcoming See All

  • Risk and Legal Fear in Schools
    With Lenore Skenazy, Frederick Hess, Megan Rosker, Walter Olson, and Nancy McDermott. Start date: June 5