Iowa Ideas
Iowa Ideas

To provide a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience

designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

Iowa Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions

Jan 1, 2000 at 12:01 am

    What is Iowa Ideas?

    What will I gain from attending the Iowa Ideas conference?

    Why is the focus of this project state-wide?

    When will the next magazine be published? How can I get it? 

    How were the track topics selected? What about a track, session or story on [x]? 

    How do you choose your panelists and speakers?

    How can I get involved? 

    Who can I contact for more information?

    Conference accessibility

    Traveling to the conference

    What is 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. Launched in 2017, Iowa Ideas is created and produced by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

    Now in our fourth year, Iowa Ideas will focus on 9 key topic areas, including diversity & inclusion, education, energy & environment, health care, human & social services, infrastructure, regional development, policy and workforce. 

    Issues are explored through two mediums: 

    • The Iowa Ideas articles and magazine

      Featuring in-depth, solutions-focused stories, gorgeous photos and informative graphics to help delve deeper than the average newspaper article.

    • The Iowa Ideas conference - October 15-16, 2020 - Free Access Virtual Event

      Explore the issues in-person with experts from across the state. This day and half long conference allows individuals to customize their experience by choosing the sessions important to them. Sessions feature moderated panel discussions with audience Q&A to keep attendees engaged. With a keynote on both Friday and Saturday, you don't want to miss this event.

    What will I gain from attending the Iowa Ideas conference?

    Our attendees say they appreciate hearing multiple perspectives on the issues, learning about solutions and connecting with fellow passionate Iowans. 

    Iowa Ideas is designed to be a community building experience around defining issues for our state. There are several potential outcomes – many of which will be driven by the people who participate:

    • Be part of a deep and nuanced conversation, based in fact and with an emphasis on solutions

    • Connect with speakers and fellow attendees who are passionate about similar issues

    • Hear first-hand from newsmakers, be inspired and learn about new ideas

    • Have the opportunity to keep the work and conversations going beyond the events

    Why is the focus of this project state-wide?

    The issues we have identified are not unique to Eastern Iowa. These are issues relevant to our state as a whole and it’s critical we hear and engage all parts of the state when thinking about current state and ideas for the future. 

    When will the next magazine be published? How do I get it?

    The Iowa Ideas magazine is published once a year. The 2020 magazine will be published on Sunday, July 26, 2020.

    The magazine is premium Gazette product included with all Sunday subscriptions. Not a Gazette subscriber? Subscribe today!

    How were the track topics selected? What about a track, session or story on [x]?

    Each of our tracks represents an industry that has the opportunity to shape the future of Iowa. Many of these major industries are in a state of change - and thus, ripe for exploration and discussion. From our work at The Gazette, we know these topics continue to impact Iowans in a variety of ways. We kept the topics broad with the intent to have many conversations within each track.

    Have an idea of something we should cover? We would love to hear it – drop a line to

    How do you choose panelists and speakers?

    We have engaged key track experts to participate on our Iowa Ideas advisory councils. Through discussions, topics are selected and concurrently panelists, using both The Gazette's contacts and suggestions along with those of our advisory council members.

    If you have a panelist suggestion, please email and we will review the inquiry against our criteria.

    Note that panelists should not "sell from the stage" -- we have sponsor opportunities available for those offering a product or service that would benefit Iowa Ideas attendees.

    How can I get involved?

    We are always looking for individuals who can help be champions of Iowa Ideas! The best ways to get involved are by volunteering at the event or being an advocate of the project by liking and sharing our Facebook page.

    Volunteer opportunities will open in May 2020. Volunteers receive a complimentary conference pass for working a 4-hour shift and an exclusive Iowa Ideas t-shirt.

    Who can I contact for more information?


    call: Gazette events manager Chelsea Grieder, 319-329-3700

    Iowa Ideas
    500 3rd Ave SE
    Cedar Rapids IA 52401

    Conference accessibility

    The Iowa Ideas Conference is committed to providing an inclusive environment. DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex and Theatre Cedar Rapids are both accessible venues enabling conference attendees to attend any session they are interested in, but you will need to travel from space to space if attending multiple tracks. All food & beverage at the conference is provided by DoubleTree by Hilton. If you have a special dietary need, please notate this on your registration.

    Supplemental audio will be provided in each session to ensure attendees can hear the discussion. Interpreters are not currently scheduled, but will be made available upon request – please contact no later than one month prior to the event. Wheelchairs will not be provided by the conference or by the venues. Smoking is not permitted. Service animals are welcome but we reserve the right to ask any service animal to leave if they are being disruptive or causing a potential risk to conference attendees.

    Traveling to the conference

    DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex is the host venue for the Iowa Ideas Conference. The majority of the conference, including registration, will be located inside the DoubleTree. Hotel rooms are available by calling 319-731-4444, mention the Iowa Ideas Conference to receive the group rate.

    The venue is located conveniently off of I-380 at exit 208. Parking is available in the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp on 1st Avenue across the street or skywalk from the DoubleTree. Hourly and daily parking rates may apply.

    If flying, the Eastern Iowa Airport, is a short 15 minute drive from the venue. DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex offers a complimentary shuttle that can be reserved by calling 319-731-4444. Taxi, Uber and Lyft are also available. Public transportation via Route 11 can be found from the City of Cedar Rapids Transit Site or by calling 319-286-5573 for ADA paratransit options.

    Direct Iowa Ideas updates sent to you for free.