2020 Year in Review

With the help – and voices – of citizens throughout North Carolina, IEI launched a three-year initiative focused on reengaging the state called ReCONNECT NC. Throughout the past three years, IEI has hosted Emerging Issues Forums based on the specific needs that North Carolina residents and organizations identified.



Total number of ReCONNECT NC Forum Participants


ReCONNECT NC Community Cohort teams spanning 57 counties


ReCONNECT NC Community Cohort teams spanning 36 counties received external funding through IEI partners


Total Community Cohort workshop, training, planning, and contact hours


The number of experts to include members of Congress, legislators, the supreme court, prominent CEOs, nonprofit heads, education, and community leaders engaged with ReCONNECT NC in 2020



The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State (IEI) in partnership with the Broadband Infrastructure Office at the NC Department of Information Technology, and with principal support from the John M. Belk Endowment, is addressing the digital divide across NC through a new program called “Building a New Digital Economy” (BAND-NC). BAND-NC has provided rapid-response community innovation mini-grants to communities across the state.


$5,000 “rapid response” community innovation grants in 39 counties


Funds raised to support BAND-NC working to make NC the most “digitally inclusive” state in the US



 Through our First in Future podcast, we hosted a series of virtual conversations discussing the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).


Total viewership of our First in Future Zoomcast series


Millions of people reached through IEI social media accounts and initiatives



A few of our key external investors




Top Stories


Pushing policy forward amid a pandemic – local legislators working to create digital inclusion for citizens across the state

NC State’s Institute for Emerging Issues launching a grant to help bridge digital divide

IEI announces first round of BAND-NC grant recipients

Tony Brown and Carol Mattocks join IEI National Advisory Board

Reginald Henderson and Brad Wilson join IEI National Advisory Board

New Partners join the IEI BAND-NC Broadband initiative to launch grant program