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It’s a new year – are you ready for a new type of conversation?
The world is fundamentally changing, and the pace of change is only accelerating. Technological advances and impacts of the global economy are felt everywhere. Other changes, like Iowa's aging population, changes in demographics and disruptions in major industries create unique challenges for Iowa's rural and urban landscape.
With sharp political divides, disenfranchisement and increased speed in which information is exchanged, it can be hard to have forward-looking and solution-focused discussion about serious issues.
That’s why in 2017, The Gazette is committed to having a different type of conversation.
Introducing Iowa Ideas.
Iowa Ideas is a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.
We will focus on seven topic areas:
- K-12 education
- Higher education
- Health care
- Workforce & regionalism
- Energy & environment
And we’ll explore these topics in a variety of ways throughout the year, including a series of interactive symposiums, magazines, digital content and discussion groups. These will ultimately lead to a two-day conference in Cedar Rapids in September 2017.
With a bold vision and a collaborative mindset, Iowa Ideas will:
- Foster thought-provoking conversation about serious issues. Our speakers and conversations aim to make news and help move issues forward.
- Welcome all attendees and create a diverse and inclusive environment.
- Highlight “doers” - people who are working hard every day to make a difference in their field.
- Inspire and motivate by introducing new ideas to the state and expanding views of what is possible here.
We will do this by featuring a mix of national, regional and local speakers; by hosting facilitated, open and meaningful conversations; and through our in-depth reporting. By combining and building on these elements throughout the year, we hope to move conversations forward.
But even more important than what we can bring to the table is what you have to offer. The people who show up will shape the conversation. There will be many ways to contribute throughout the year.
One of our greatest strengths as Iowans is that we can all come together to have these conversations. That we’re willing to hear each other out, even when we disagree. That we’re connected - anyone you want to meet is usually no more than one or two introductions away.
Engaged citizens, community advocates and industry leaders are invited to join us on this statewide initiative. If you want to get involved, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. What’s your big idea??