Professional Development Blog
[Behind the Scenes] Creating the Schedule

[Behind the Scenes] Creating the Schedule

With five years of ideas, over two-thousand past attendees, thirty board members and countless suggestions submitted via email and through online forms…the NextGen schedule is created. The mission of NextGen is to educate, inspire and promote innovation and positive growth for Generation X and Y leaders in government. To effectively do that, we must make sure the training offered at NextGen:

  • Is needed, wanted and relevant for government’s Generation X & Y leaders.
  • Promotes positive growth and innovation interpersonally and professionally.
  • Provides tangible skills that can be implemented in their daily lives.
  • Inspires and motivates public servants to remain in public service.

In order to achieve these goals, we must address each aspect consistently throughout the schedule. You will find that the keynote addresses aim to inspire, motivate and remind our attendees that the work they are doing in public service is important and our nation needs them to stay in public service to help government progress through leadership changes and cultural shifts in a positive manner.

Additionally, the thirty breakout sessions each align to government training competencies that are utilized to “assess executive experience and potential-not technical expertise”. You will find the correlating Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) as defined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the description of each breakout session provided at the NextGen Summit.

This year, the thirty breakout sessions follow six different tracks. These tracks were selected and titled to provide the attendees at NextGen a good variety of topics that have been requested throughout the last five years. With these tracks, there is something for multiple government levels, experience and interests; they are:

  • 1: New to Gov: 0-3 years of government experience
  • 2: Government Operations: demystify some of government’s confusing functions and operations
  • 3: Leadership Lingo: new supervisors eager to develop key leadership skills and traits
  • 4: Talking Tech: overcome gov’s technology challenges and hurdles
  • 5: Change Agent Acumen: bring new ideas to management, embrace agile learning, and hone great negotiation tactics
  • 6: Advice for the Advanced: 5+ years of government experience



In years past, we’ve offered thirty-six breakout sessions to allow for more topics to be covered; and while that is a great idea – we don’t want to overshadow some of the greatest sessions that are deserving of more time. For this reason, in the afternoon of day one we will focus on one topic per track in more detail instead of squeezing in an additional breakout time slot. During these longer breakout sessions we will discuss the topics in depth, have robust conversations amongst attendees and obtain a better sense of understanding within those particular sessions. These sessions include: build your strengths, project management, courageous followership, tech teachings, government innovation, and power through partnership. They are listed on the schedule as “deep dive” sessions.


There are always crowd favorites that are worth bringing back year after year, like managing your career and tech tips and tricks. However, there is always room for improvement and opportunity for extended learning in new topics and circumstances. For this very reason, we’ve overhauled the schedule, added in pressing topics and will train our nation’s leaders on these new skills and issues; such as cybersecurity best practices and mindful leadership. To identify which sessions are new – you can find this note in the session description under the session category “New to NextGen”.


In the Talking Tech track during the deep dive session there will be a tech unconference. This will allow for the attendees participating to suggest their topical ideas, break off into smaller discussion groups and tackle the issues and educate themselves on what they want answers to most. Tech experts will be present to help with harder conversations and provide examples of how government is currently operating.


During the summit there will be many activities taking place during the breaks, breakfast, before and after the summit itself. We encourage everyone to create or join meetup’s that are actively meeting. Discover and meet others at the summit from your agency, state or have similar interests or work roles.


If you’ve attended in the past, you won’t want to miss this year. We’ve combined all the amazing elements of past summits, and have enhanced them, upgraded them and are bringing NextGen to a new level. If you’ve never attended, you’re in for a treat! Here are a few add-ons you wont want to miss:

  • Office Hours: be sure to schedule your appointments with these career counselors, tech enthusiast, generational experts one-on-one throughout the summit. Appointments will be available for sign-up in July.
  • Meet the NextGen 30: Take time to get to know the NextGen Public Service Award – NextGen 30. Nominations begin April 27th.
  • Workplace Yoga: Learn a few exercises that will help you destress and relax while at work.
  • Professional Photo: get your professional head-shot taken, for free.

Have questions about the schedule? Want to know why we put sessions in certain tracks or point out what is missing, let us know. Email us now.