Road to 2092: Save Social Security culminates the semester with an innovation challenge led by the Institute’s Visiting Fellows Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Gary Cohn

Cambridge, MA – Today, the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School announced an innovation policy challenge led by the Institute’s Visiting Fellows former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. This hackathon-style competition, titled Road to 2092: Save Social Security,  encourages Harvard University students to identify creative policy solutions to save Social Security for future generations.  

“A child born today will rely on Social Security for retirement in 2092. We are empowering students to rise to the challenge and identify innovative solutions to ensure the next generation has the same safety net their grandparents have today,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, former U.S. Senator of North Dakota.

“Political leaders won’t address the looming social security crisis until they have political cover to do so," said Gary Cohn, former NEC Director and Goldman Sachs President and Chief Operating Officer. “We want to raise awareness of the problem among young people and engage them in thinking of solutions so they can begin to push today’s elected officials to take action."

On Sunday, April 14th, students will gather at Harvard Kennedy School to develop policy proposals and pitch their solutions to a panel of experts, featuring Sen. Heitkamp and Cohn. This interdisciplinary competition brings together students from across Harvard University who will tap into their academic experience in areas such as economics, statistics, computer science, and government.

The winning proposal will be announced in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Monday, April 15th at 6:00pm ET. Later this spring, Sen. Heitkamp and Cohn will travel to Washington, D.C. with the winning team to present the policy proposal to Members of Congress and Trump Administration officials.

“Policy solutions are not reserved for our elected leaders and lawmakers. Road to 2092 is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to think beyond Beltway politics to ensure the next generation is provided retirement support.” said IOP Director Mark D. Gearan. “We are honored to have Sen. Heitkamp and Gary Cohn lend their expertise to give our students the opportunity to gain real-world experience and transform their policy practice into a long career of public service.”

As Visiting Fellows this semester, Sen. Heitkamp and Cohn have led a unique weekly discussion on the state of the economy with students. Titled "The Real State of the Union," the conversation brings together two leaders from different branches of government with students to spark debate and civil discourse about today's economy and economic policy in the U.S. and abroad. Road to 2092 serves as a final capstone for the semester, bridging education, research and practice to foster a greater sense of civic engagement and participation.

For more information or to submit your team’s application, visit the Road to 2092 website:

About the Institute of Politics

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School was established in 1966 as a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The Institute’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service.

The Institute blends the academy with practical politics and offers students the opportunity to engage on current topics, to have access to key policymakers and to acquire skills and perspective that will assist in their postgraduate choices. The Institute’s Policy Program students engage in policy research with elected official and non-governmental organizations. Our students’ policy research has contributed to local and statewide legislation and policy formulation for prominent institutions and organizations.

For more information on the Institute of Politics programs, visit: