Other education events showcased a range of policy conversations of interest to students. In the fall, we hosted Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and founder of USAFacts, a website devoted to helping make the government more accountable to its citizens by creating and making accessible a comprehensive set of data on the government. Mr. Ballmer discussed his philosophy on how the government could be run more efficiently and effectively by using a more quantitative approach to solving social issues. In the winter, we held an event with another Haas Center-affiliated student group, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, focused on the future of U.S. environmental policy after the Paris Climate Agreement. The panel consisted of Elena Saxonhouse, Sierra Club senior attorney, and Ken Alex, California Governor Jerry Brown’s senior policy advisor. They discussed the future of environmental policy under the Trump Administration, California’s fight against climate change with roles such as the Under2 MOU Coalition, and what students can do to get involved.
In the spring, we co-hosted an event with SUAVE (Stanford Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Enthusiasts) for the first time on the future of drone policy in the U.S. and Canada. A panel of five experts, with backgrounds ranging from technical experience in drones to current drone law included Juan Alonso, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Kristen Thomasen, Professor at University of Windsor School of Law; Ryan Calo, Professor at University of Washington School of Law; Saurabh Anand, Senior University Counsel for Stanford’s Office of the General Counsel; and Mykel Kochenderfer, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Topics discussed ranged from current rules and regulations governing the use of drones, how those rules have been and are continuing to be determined, to the potential future impacts of drone use on our society. We also co-sponsored an event with the American Enterprise Institute featuring Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review senior editor, who spoke on the state of the Republican Party under President Trump.
Finally, to inspire educated voting we hosted an event on the 2018 California Primary to educate students on who the candidates are, and the issues being debated in this election cycle. The panel included both reporters and professors with expertise in California politics.