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Southern Growth Policies Board

Southern Growth Policies Board is a non-partisan public policy think tank based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Formed by the region's governors in 1971, Southern Growth Policies Board develops and advances visionary economic development policies by providing a forum for partnership and dialogue among a diverse cross-section of the region's governors, legislators, business and academic leaders and the economic- and community-development sectors. This unique public-private partnership is devoted to strengthening the South's economy and creating the highest possible quality of life.

Each year, Southern Growth Policies Board starts a conversation in the South on a particular issue related to economic development. They do this by holding community forums or moderated discussions, in communities large and small across the region. A typical forum audience is between 10 to 30 citizens, and materials such as Moderator's Guides and Discussion Guides as well as Pre-Forum and Post-Forum Questionnaires are usually provided.


Supported by memberships from 13 Southern states– Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia —and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Southern Growth provides a gathering place for regional collaboration. Southern Growth Policies Board is a private non-profit organization that is also supported through associate memberships from corporate, nonprofit and academic institutions, as well as grants, contracts and corporate sponsorships. For more information, refer to the membership section.

Research Focus

Southern Growth's research focus encompasses the major drivers for economic development in the South – innovation and technology, globalization, the changing nature of the workforce and the vital role of the community. Southern Growth provides its members, and the region, with authoritative research, discussion forums and pilot projects that define the critical issues shaping the South. Southern Growth develops new regional strategies for economic development and identifies best practices to facilitate action. These strategies are outlined in the organization's regional objectives.

Advisory Councils

Four advisory councils, each chaired by a Southern governor, guide Southern Growth's policy work and research. The four councils are aligned with Southern Growth's major research areas and include the Southern Technology Council, focusing on innovation and technology; the Southern Global Strategies Council focusing on globalization, international trade and investment, immigration and international education; the Council for a New Economy Workforce focusing on workforce issues; and the Council on the Southern Community focusing on leadership, civic engagement and community development and growth.


Southern Growth produces reports, toolkits and policy papers to support the deliberation and projects of the four advisory councils. Each June, Southern Growth releases an annual Report on the Future of the South. The Report on the Future of the South is the centerpiece of the organization's yearly conference and the catalyst for in depth discussions on issues facing the region. In 2002, Southern Growth released The Mercedes and the Magnolia: Preparing the Southern Workforce for the Next Economy. For a complete list of publications by research area, refer to the publication section of the website.

Geographic Focus: U.S. Southern States

Resource Link: www.southern.org



P.O. Box 12293

Research Triangle Park



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