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Developing Citizen Leaders with the Emerging Issues Commons

This post was submitted by John Coggin of NC State University via the Add to Blog form…

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University is concerned with the future vitality of North Carolina. IEI deliberately and directly connects interested citizens in business, government, education, and the non-profit sector to problem solve emerging issues that lie along the convergence of four key areas: Education, Health, Economy, and Environments (Natural and Built). Our goal is to bring focus to the state’s complex public challenges, to provide an accessible conduit for citizens and leaders to engage constructively with those issues, and to support the implementation of responsive strategies.

In 2013, IEI will open the Emerging Issues Commons, a groundbreaking online and in-person civic engagement platform that will exponentially advance our ability to help communities solve challenges. The Commons will inspire North Carolinians through ideas, data, and stories of people and communities grappling with change. Visitors will be motivated to learn about challenges in their own communities, what is being done to face them, and how they can help. The Commons will allow users to distill the information they need to make good decisions for their communities and to connect with others in ways never before possible to put good ideas into action.

The Commons has been designed to serve the citizens and communities of North Carolina, but its process for fueling collaboration and fostering action can be easily replicated in other communities and states nationwide. Citizens across the United States need access to credible and interpretable data, opportunities to voice the challenges they face and the solutions they envision, and spaces in which to collaborate with other concerned citizens as they move toward action. The Emerging Issues Commons not only provides a chance for North Carolinians to come together to provide for the long-term competitiveness of our state. It also gives other communities across the United States the opportunity to witness and replicate this innovative civic engagement tool.

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This post was submitted by a member of the NCDD community. NCDD members are leaders and future leaders in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving. You, too, can post to the NCDD blog by completing the Add-to-Blog form at www.ncdd.org/submit.

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