This spring, Silicon Flatirons brought state regulators from around the country to Aspen for an intensive five-day seminar designed to support thoughtful regulatory decision-making.
This spring, Silicon Flatirons brought state regulators from around the country to Aspen for an intensive five-day seminar designed to support thoughtful regulatory decision-making. The seminar is held each May, with an evolving curriculum and dedicated faculty. Past participant Tony Clark, a commissioner on the North Dakota Public Service Commission, described the IRLE as “an intellectually rigorous, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable experience for participants. The facilitators don’t tell you what to think, rather they equip regulators with tools for analyzing the complex issues that come before us. It is unique among the educational opportunities for regulators.”
The IRLE distills the critical law and economics issues that arise in closely-regulated network industries and presents them in a coherent fashion. In particular, it highlights the important tools provided by neo-classical economics, new institutional economics, “code as law,” Schumpeter, and public choice theory. This year, the curriculum also includes a discussion of corporate finance principles and risk valuation as applied to regulation. The faculty and academic advisors for the IRLE include leading scholars and practitioners in regulatory law and economics. They have been selected for their contributions to the understanding of closely regulated network industries and for their excellence in teaching. This year the program faculty included Ray Gifford, Dale Hatfield, Lynne Kiesling, Howard Shelanski, Eric Talley, Phil Weiser, and Bart Wilson.
As with previous years, the 2008 IRLE Seminar was a tremendous success. Michael Isenberg of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable said, “Everything about the program was excellent, from the topics covered, the quality of the instructors and presentations, the discussions between the presenters and the state commissioners and staff, and of course, the wonderful accommodations in beautiful Aspen. By far, it was the most helpful, interesting seminar I’ve attended.”