The Director’s Log: October 2017 | Special Edition

Calling All Futurists!

In 16th century England and Ireland, one of the staples of Halloween was predicting the future. They did it through a series of party games. After peeling an apple in one strip, they would toss the peel over their shoulder. The shape the peel landed in was supposed to tell them the first letter of the name of the person they would marry. Later, as if things weren’t already rocking enough, they would eat cakes with various items baked into them – rings, coins, etc. The object you found would tell you what your future held.

I know, I know. IEI has traditionally relied on other means to predict the future. We favor charts, graphs, analysis. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make other bold predictions about what will happen to our state going forward. In that spirit, I have three predictions about what you are about to read:

  • Through our new Blue Ribbon Commission, led by Pat Cronin, we are reviewing every possible source of local funding available to make sure our next generation grows up healthy and ready to learn. We’ve had the first two meetings of this group already, and I can safely say I have never seen a group of people more excited about arcane tax policy and revenue streams. Don’t worry: this group, chaired by Sen. Chad Barefoot, PNC President Jim Hansen, NC Association of County Commissioners Chair Brenda Howerton, and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, is immersing themselves in this issue so you don’t have to. And when they are done, they’ll be lifting up some ideas that will help us predict a brighter future. I predict there is a blog post about that linked in this month’s digest.
  • Through IEI’s work on “Service Year NC,” led by Maggie Woods, we are trying to build a better future by developing strategies to recruit twice as many new young people to our state’s towns and counties – through Teach for America, AmeriCorps, VISTA and other programs. I predict Maggie will tell us how it is going in a linked blog.
  • And I know I am sticking my neck out on this one, but I also have a bold prediction that Kylie Foley will tell us how faith leaders across the state can assess whether and how they might address issues related to health, education and poverty in their communities.

IEI’s predictions, forecasts, and projections don’t always come true, but we keep working at it. I feel VERY CONFIDENT about this month’s predictions.

So what are YOUR predictions for our state’s future? What is ONE THING you predict will happen here in North Carolina over the next 12 months? Let us know! Tweet at us: @emergingissues. We’ll keep track of your predictions and next October, we’ll report back on which ones came true and will provide a fresh apple peel to the person with the boldest accurate prediction!

Happy Halloween and thanks for your concern about our state’s future.


P.S.  Note to staff: next time we share new projection data, should we consider embedding the map in a Bundt cake?

P.S.S. Note from staff: Few people were harmed during the Photoshopping of Director’s image.