Iowa Ideas is a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

Created by The Gazette, Iowa Ideas consists of in-depth, solutions-focused journalism and events. Engaged citizens, community advocates and industry leaders are invited to join us.

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Who is Iowa Ideas for?

Sept. 20-22 event will span industries, highlight solutions

    Jason Napoli, Director, Employer Relations & Career Coaching at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, takes notes during a small group discussion at the second Iowa Ideas symposium at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
    Jun 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    When we first went public with Iowa Ideas, we laid out these four goals:

    - 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.

    Since then, we’ve been working hard to line up speakers that can help us meet these goals at the inaugural Iowa Ideas conference – more than 250 speakers across 80 sessions, to be precise. But there’s one part that’s still missing:

    You.

    Iowa Ideas isn’t a one-way street, it’s a conversation. And in order to truly move the conversation forward, we’ll need to hear lots of different voices.

    We’ve had some questions about who Iowa Ideas is for. Our best answer is this: If you are passionate about Iowa, care about the future of our state and want to learn alongside fellow Iowans from all walks of life, Iowa Ideas is for you.

    Specifically, Iowa Ideas is for:

    - “Doers” and community advocates: Many of us are heads down every day, working hard to make our dent in the universe. But it can be incredibly valuable to spend a few days learning from others and getting inspired. You’ll meet experts and big thinkers from Iowa and beyond. And if you consider yourself a community builder or a dot connector, we hope you’ll appreciate our multidisciplinary approach.

    - People who work in one of our eight industries – and are curious about others: We absolutely hope teachers will attend our K-12 education track, farmers will attend agriculture and doctors and nurses will attend health care – but we don’t want to stop there. With Iowa Ideas, you get access to all of our topics. While many conferences are very niche, we hope to draw connections between industries. And some of the most prominent changes facing Iowa, like technology and changing demographics, span topic areas. You might be surprised at how connected we all are.

    - Lawmakers, policy wonks and influencers: While Iowa Ideas isn’t exclusively focused on policy (we’re more interested in the underlying issues than specific proposals), we are actively inviting lawmakers, elected officials and policy influencers to be part of the conversation.

    - Lifelong learners: We are curating a nuanced, in-depth look at many of Iowa’s key issues. We hope this approach will appear to academics, students and anyone who wants to keep expanding their knowledge.

    - All ages: Some people have asked, “Is Iowa Ideas only for executives? Do I have to be more advanced in my career to participate?” The answer is absolutely not. Whether you’re a student or a retiree, career focused or in between gigs, Iowa Ideas is for you.

    We hope you'll join us Sept. 20-22 in downtown Cedar Rapids for the inaugural Iowa Ideas conference.

    Finally: we are committed to making sure Iowa Ideas is accessible to all who want to be part of the conversation. Please check out our scholarship and volunteer opportunities if ticket cost is a barrier. And if you have any other questions about whether or not Iowa Ideas is for you, drop us a line: iowaideas@thegazette.com.

    Most Recent Iowa Ideas Stories

    Stay Up-To-Date

    Sign up for any combination of updates below.

    Get general updates on the Iowa Ideas project and track-specific newsletters and opportunities to connect.

    Your Email *
    General Updates
    Agriculture
    Energy and Environment
    Heath Care
    Higher Education
    K-12 Education
    Regionalism and Workforce
    Transportation
    Terms: I am over 13 years old and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy