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Organization

Institute for Emerging Issues

Contact Information

1070 Partners Way
Raleigh, NC 27606

(919) 513-0803

Focus Areas

  • Economic Security
  • Education & Youth
  • Environment
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Year Founded 2002
  • Legal Form Public Higher Education Institution

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University in Raleigh works to ensure the economic prosperity of North Carolina. We believe that today's complex challenges require citizens who can work together by identifying shared interests and, then, act collaboratively to achieve common goals.

  • About Us
    Today’s complex challenges require citizens who can work together by identifying shared interests and, then, act collaboratively to achieve common goals. It is troubling, therefore, to note that North Carolina faces a crisis of disengagement. According to the 2010 Civic Health Index, North Carolina ranks 42nd in the nation for volunteering, 44th for participation in non-electoral policy activity (such as public meetings), and 39th for group affiliation/membership. Too few of our citizens are willing to contribute their civic ideas, and those that do worry that their thoughts are not being heard or supported by people with the capacity to implement them. Many people who would like a seat at the table often feel as though they are stuck on the outside looking in. Our state’s Civic Health Index suggests that the people of North Carolina would engage at more substantial levels if they were informed about opportunities and asked to act. The need we face, then, is to identify new ways to educate and engage our citizens and to help them solve problems and recognize the importance and necessity of their participation.

    IEI was founded in 2002 to do just that. We work at a statewide level each year, but our statewide efforts, by their very nature, benefit from and inform local work. We understand that the best solutions for community problems will come from communities themselves. When people are working with people they know, and on problems that are real to them, they are more invested in the work and better appreciate their own agency in finding opportunities for action.

    IEI keeps North Carolina’s attention on working toward a vibrant future. Each year, IEI focuses on an emerging issue that requires the entire state’s attention. IEI brings thousands of people together to discover the opportunities in these issues, identify innovative solutions and support leaders and communities seeking to implement those solutions.

    For more than three decades, IEI has maintained a strong tradition of bringing the best and the brightest leaders to gather together to discuss the emerging issues that drive our state forward.
  • Our Impact
    IEI keeps North Carolina's attention on working toward a vibrant, more prosperous future. Each year, IEI focuses on an emerging issue that requires the entire state's attention. We bring thousands of people together to discover the opportunities in these issues, identify innovative solutions and support leaders and communities seeking to implement those solutions. While our issues may vary, they are all cross-cutting and inter-disciplinary, and focus, whether fully or in part, on supporting low income populations across the state.

    Examples:

    KidoNomiCs

    Our Fall 2017 program of work, KidoNomiCs, asks the key question, "Will the future be as bright for our children as it was for us?" We are examining the connections between early childhood investments, North Carolina's economy, and the development of a well-trained workforce. Understanding these relationships will set the stage for targeted investments that will help position North Carolina at the forefront of the nation. IEI will hit the road this fall, traveling across the state to provide hands-on assistance and valuable data insights and resources to leaders in lower resourced communities to help increase local capacity. We're busy working with key organizations across the state who are focused on improving our system of services and support.

    Thriving Rural Communities Program

    In North Carolina, 80 counties are classified as rural. In these communities, faith groups remain the strongest, most impactful, and most trusted local institutions. At IEI, we believe that communities of faith are essential partners to finding new and innovative solutions to the unique challenges facing our rural communities. Rural churches are and can be advocates and champions for their congregants and neighbors, and networking with other similarly-minded clergy and lay people help us make an impact on North Carolina. The Thriving Rural Communities program allows rural faith leaders to use IEI's resources to benefit their community. Rural churches and places of worship are often anchor institutions that have the credibility and resources to partner with private, public and nonprofit partners to address civic needs in the community. IEI staff works directly with faith leaders (clergy and lay) on their community development plans and provides resources according to their needs.