Mission and History

Mission and History

Our Mission

The Madison Institute was established (1) to examine and discuss the problems of our time, with a view toward extending democratic principles and promoting social and economic justice; (2) to sponsor programs, such as discussion groups, lectures, panels, forums and symposiums; and (3) to collect, create, and disseminate information about public policy issues.

We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

A Condensed History of The Madison Institute

Updated: January 14th, 2004
The Madison Institute (TMI) was founded in 1982 by Marjorie “Midge” Miller as a public policy study center providing a focus for fresh, independent thinking and expression from a liberal-progressive perspective. The Madison Institute also sponsors the Progressive Round Table (PRT), a monthly gathering to share information, analyze policy issues and encourage its participants to be active citizen advocates.

1985Toward a Renewed Liberal-Progressive Public Policy John Kenneth Galbraith speaks at TMI’s inaugural event. Introduced by Governor Anthony S. Earl.

1986Star Wars: Defense or Death Star A lecture by Dr. Robert Bowman, co-sponsored with Beyond War, Educators for Social Responsibility and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

I987The Progressive Round Table TMI’s citizen discussion group begins.

1988Economic Progress: Renewing a Great Wisconsin Idea The first of TMI’s special lectures takes place with Jeff Faux, economist, author, and president of The Economic Policy Institute.

1989Modern Media: Values, Interests and the Public Good Presentations by Ben Bagdikian, author and media critic; Nicholas Johnson, former FCC chair; Ken Bode, NBC News, and others.

1989Wisconsin at the Crossroads, Economic Development: What’s Wrong with Our Old Thinking and the Case for a New Progressive Strategy A publication by TMI Senior Fellow Rob Kennedy.

1991Forging a New Economics A conference with Gaylord Nelson and economists John Cobb, Jr. and Herman Daly.

1994The Political Impact of the New Religious Right A Progressive Round Table discussion with Ann Calder, founder of Clergy & Laity United for America, Dan Maguire, Marquette University and Leona Balek, Detroit Public Schools.

1995Wisconsin’s Progressive Tradition: Confronting a Troubled Future A conference presenting public officials exploring the radical changes proposed in state government.

1996-97Corporate Power, Citizen Power: Striking a Balance A year-long series of conferences presenting ideas of significant writers and thinkers including Willliam Greider, David Korten, William Domhoff, and Chuck Collins.

1997Social Security Two publications by TMI Board member Dan Cornwell defending the pay-as-you-go system.

1997The Growing Divide: Inequality and the Roots of Economic Insecurity A workshop led by Chuck Collins of United for a Fair Economy, cosponsored by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and the South Central Wisconsin Federation of Labor.

1998Taxes: Who Pays and Who Benefits? Explains the social, political, and economic implications of the various tax policies being proposed in Congress.

1998Health Care Security For All A brochure updating information on the practicalities of Universal Health Care, Single Payer type.

1998Sustainable Wisconsin: How You Can Make It Happen A conference with workshops presented by a myriad of organizations and agencies.

1999Privatization: Can Private Interests Serve the Public Good? A series of three conferences covering the military experience, historical experience, and a look ahead.

2000Rewind and Fast Forward A conference celebrating past Progressive achievements and reinvigorating future action.

2001A National Missile Defense System: Will It Make Us More Secure? A presentation by Dr. Robert Bowman, president of the Institute for Space and Security Studies.

2001Loving America Differently A Progressive Round Table presentation by Anne McClintock, UW-Madison Professor of English and Women’s Studies, exploring our response to Sept. 11 and the dynamics of global terrorism.

2002Alternative Media in a Democratic Society A Progressive Round Table presentation by Norman Stockwell of WORT, a community radio station in Madison.

2002Underfunding: A Threat to Our Civil Society A symposium on the underlying causes of Wisconsin’s budget crisis and long-range solutions.  Speakers from UW-Madison and several non-profit organizations.

2002Crony Capitalism: Global and American Style A public forum featuring author Tim Shorrock and a response panel.

2003Will U.S. Dominance Bring Security? An examination of the global implications of the Bush Administration’s National Security Strategy and alternatives for U.S. foreign policy. Speakers Tom Ambrogi and Chris O’Sullivan.

2003The Patriot Act Under Surveillance Professor Christopher H. Pyle asks what some true patriots of American history would say about this act. Three panelists offer different perspectives on the impact of this act on our democracy.