December 2012

December 2012

A group of national leaders in design, technology, policy and deliberation met in Raleigh last week for the Institute for Emerging Issues’ conversation on Redesigning Democracy. As we closed the convening on Monday, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute of Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, set forth a challenge for IEI by noting “North Carolina has the ingredients to be a national model for statewide conversations and collaborations.” As we head into the holidays, I am ever mindful of that challenge, and hope you will participate in one last opportunity for exchange with IEI in 2012.


Hundreds are already signed up to participate in the Emerging Issues Forum, @Manufacturing Works, in February 2013. We will have many thoughtful speakers on the agenda to help us shape the future of manufacturing in our state, but it is equally important for the Forum to feature your best ideas.

Please take a moment to help us thoughtfully explore ways this state can connect its young people to emerging opportunities in manufacturing. For months we have listened to manufacturers despair at not being able to attract qualified, young workers. At the same time, members of Generation Z continue to share their stress over not being able to find good jobs. Have you seen a promising practice for connecting young people to manufacturing in your community? We want to hear your best ideas for making K-12 students aware of manufacturing career opportunities, and we’ll feature the top three during the Emerging Issues Forum. Send us your ideas here.


Thank you for all the ways you have supported IEI in 2013. In just three examples, 4,000 of you participated in the live stream on Redesigning Democracy; since the February 2012 Forum, you hatched activities across the state to support Gen Z– especially in coworking, business mentorship programs and healthy eating initiatives; and literally hundreds of you have helped inspire the creation of the Emerging Issues Commons, a platform and tool for you to connect to each other and needed resources. The Commons launches officially in February 2013.


As we usher in the New Year, I am reminded that the University of Arizona established the National Institute of Civil Discourse in 2011 to foster an open exchange of ideas in the wake of the tragic shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. Just last week, the nation was reeling from another horrific shooting event and calling for more opportunities for treasured dialogue.

Let’s all pledge to make 2013 a year of tackling tough issues through meaningfully engaging the ideas of others – all sectors, regions and points of view.

Wishing you the very best for the Holidays,

iei-newsletter-december2013-commonsIEI’s collaborative work is making a radical transformation and we invite you to be a part of the journey. In January, IEI will debut the nation’s first physical and virtual space dedicated to supporting active engagement in democracy. The Emerging Issues Commons, located in the new James B. Hunt, Jr. Library at NC State University, is the only place in America that will transform sets of county level data into usable information so all of North Carolina’s citizens and leaders can make connections between the challenges they face and the potential solutions they hold. Using state of the art technology and informative graphics, groups of citizens and leaders can work together to understand the correlation between such issues as obesity, food security and graduation rates in their own counties. The Commons will transform our state’s opportunities for civic participation, foster new collaborations and facilitate collective action.

At this exciting beginning of real collaborative change for our state, we respectfully invite you to partner with us in this journey to make the Commons the most collaborative tool available to collaborate on ideas and then transform those ideas into action for real change. A gift now will ensure that the Commons is North Carolina’s special place to continue the great progress we have worked so hard to create now and for those who follow. Click here to donate to IEI, or visit our Support Us page to learn more.

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Redesigning Democracy Recap


Didn’t have the chance to watch the Redesigning Democracy Summit? View the WRAL livestream of Sunday and Monday

Discovery Forum Videos are Now Available!


Couldn’t attend the Discovery Forum? Videos of each of the presentations are now available online. Visit our Discovery Forum event page for more information.

Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation Finalists Announced


The 2013 Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation finalists have been announced! Visit our Prize for Innovation page to learn more about each of the high school and college finalist teams and their products. Voting begins at the end of January.