Iowa Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Iowa Ideas?

What will I gain from attending the Iowa Ideas conference?

Why is The Gazette going into other markets beyond your core circulation area?

When will the next magazine be published, and how can I get it? 

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

What are you looking for in speakers? How can I suggest a speaker? 

How can I get involved with Iowa Ideas? 

Who can I contact for more information?

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 along with numerous community partners.  

In 2018, Iowa Ideas will focus on several key topic areas, including agriculture, diversity, education, energy & environment, workforce, health care, human & social services, policy, regional development and young professional development. 

We explore important issues in each area in a variety of ways: 

  • The Iowa Ideas 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, which will return to Cedar Rapids Sept. 20-21, 2018. Our inaugural conference drew 650 people to explore key topics via panel discussions, interviews with leaders and thought-provoking experiences, and we're thrilled to be returning for a second year.

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 Gazette going into other markets beyond your core circulation area?

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. 

Each symposium is three hours and will feature presentations from regional experts and time for attendees to work together and develop ideas. We're discussing two topics each day -- join one or attend both for a full-day experience.

Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, the symposiums are free community conversations. Diverse backgrounds and viewpoints are welcome to attend and contribute. 

Generally, the format includes:

- Welcome from the executive editor

- Icebreaker and brainstorming activity

- Presentations from speakers

- Small group discussions

- Shared commitment to next steps 

Our goal is to start with a common set of facts, hear from regional experts and people who are making a difference in the field, explore issues together and create the opportunity to keep conversations and ideas going post-symposium.



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

The Iowa Ideas magazine will be published five times in 2018. The dates are: 

February 25

April 29

June 24

September 23

November 18

The magazine is distributed in The Gazette and at events around Iowa - you can also find the stories online.  


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


What are you looking for in speakers? How can I suggest a speaker?

We are looking for speakers, panelists, workshops, discussions and more, including Iowans and people from around the nation. Within each of our tracks, we are especially looking for:

  • Doers” – people who have direct experience and are making a difference in their field

  • New ideas – things that are on the cutting edge or haven’t been tried in Iowa before

  • Bridge builders – people who have the subject matter expertise to see an issue from multiple angles

If you have an idea of someone who could be a great speaker, we would love to hear from you. Nominate them using the brief form here.


Speakers shouldn't "sell from the stage" -- we have sponsor and exhibitor opportunities available for those offering a product or service that would benefit Iowa Ideas attendees.

If you know someone who would make a great Iowa Ideas speaker, let us know here.


How can I get involved?


So glad you asked – more ideas here


Who can I contact for more information? 


call: Gazette events manager Elizabeth Kimmel, 319-398-8345


Iowa Ideas
The Gazette, P.O. Box 1862
Cedar Rapids IA 52406-1862

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