What did you like about this year’s conference organized by the Council of Georgist Organizations and the International Union for Land Value Taxation? That’s what we asked this year’s attendees. Here are their responses, edited for brevity.
What I liked most was seeing a younger generation attending and participating, and promoting the use of Internet and social media methods to get our message out more widely. I hope all those trends continue and grow.
What I felt was most important was the overall *spirit* of the conference. When I say spirit, I mean that all presenters showed a strong motivation to keep Henry George’s ideas alive. It was a good opportunity to brainstorm and move forward with the inclusion of social media as an important tool to grab the attention and participation of youth.
Well, having been to about 45 of such conferences, I’m still learning things about the theory and what other people think will work in getting it adopted. I most like seeing all my Georgist friends, and sharing/debating the finer points over meals and free time. Alas, I would have liked to see the worst parts of Detroit.
What I liked best about the CGO conference was the fellowship of friends and colleagues, and opportunities to express our points of view and learn from each other. I was also pleased that there were Georgists there from several countries.
One of the great insights came from one of the people from Australia. They said that so much of their progress has come from people interested in land value tax on its merits as a public policy issue rather than from people who are driven by ideology–Georgists. I think we should change the name of CGO to remove “George” for this reason.
These annual get-togethers are always enjoyable for me. We are now (hopefully) set up to get the recorded sessions online quickly to reach the audience of people who do attend or cannot attend these events in person. This, to me, is an important movement-building tool. The next step is to live stream conference sessions over the internet. However, our demographics is a real concern. Age is catching up with many in our ranks. The number of younger people joining us is encouraging but not to the level that suggests we are growing as a movement.
All the presentations were educational, and the speakers were well informed. I learned a lot. The opportunity to network was also great. I love the work being done by courageous and dedicated people in developing nations. However, I was concerned about the lack of economic analysis. Perhaps there could be separate conference streams, those into economic history and those into producing economic analysis useful to the local community. Please can there be an established daytime strategy session next year?
I would rather have fewer presentations and more time to socialize and talk about strategy. I would cut out presentations about georgist theory and philosophy, or better yet, shorten them to 5 or 10 minutes.
I really enjoy getting together with other Georgists. Smart people. We are on the right track.
The conference was excellent! I enjoyed seeing young and old find ways to help one another. In the future, wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow make it easier for young people to attend, like openly reducing their cost and hosting the conference in a central location? That would really boost their attendance!
The Southfield conference hit many high notes. (1) Hotel: the vast open central atrium, everything within easy navigation; the daily free breakfast and happy hour; the friendly and very helpful staff; free shuttle service. (2) Program: both the invited guests and regulars provided new insights; the well-researched presentations added value. (3) Camaraderie: CGO regulars — returning Elders as well as new Young Ones — combined with IU guests from other countries to expand the sense of who we are; and the discussions, networking and friendships were fueled by the excellent food Osamu served-up each night in the hospitality suite; (4) All the new Georgist materials, more than usual, free or for sale at nice discounts. (5) The sense that contacts will be maintained and cooperation will be pursued during the coming year.