Skip to main content

ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity Forum Press Release

Institute for Emerging Issues will host forum to address digital inclusion and the benefit of all North Carolinians having access to broadband internet service

ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity Forum to convene subject matter experts in Raleigh, February 10

RALEIGH, NC — The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) “ReCONNECT to Technological Opportunity” Forum is scheduled for Monday, February 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center.

The fourth Emerging Issues Forum in the ReCONNECT NC series will address two key questions:

  1. If we had unlimited access to high speed internet, what opportunities would that connection provide for our communities?
  2. How can we start planning now to make sure that all North Carolinians benefit from broadband internet service?

The forum will focus on how businesses, government, farmers and students of all ages can use high speed internet more effectively and bring them together for discussions to explore the potential benefits. Small businesses might be interested in improving markets—one recent study estimates that rural small businesses in North Carolina could add an additional $1.9 billion to their local economies if they took full advantage of their digital potential. Other research suggests that farmers can increase yields and better target fertilizer using high speed data tools; adults and students can improve learning and gain job skills; seniors can access health care services efficiently. Currently, only about 60% of families with access to high speed services are taking advantage of it. The forum will also explore how to overcome barriers to adoption of technology.

Our keynote speaker for this event is Larry Irving, groundbreaking researcher on the digital divide whose work in internet policy has had a global impact, earning him a spot in the Internet Hall of Fame.

Other speakers include Jeff Sural, Director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office, Anita Rao, Managing Editor of WUNC’s The State of Things, Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and a host of legislative leaders, NC State faculty, philanthropists and other subject matter experts. The forum will also feature five diverse communities actively working to best leverage high speed broadband for economic growth and community improvement.

The registration fee is $250. IEI wants and needs every voice to join and engage in the conversation. Scholarships (free tickets) are available to increase geographic, demographic and economic representation at our Emerging Issues Forum.


See full forum agenda at:

About the Institute for Emerging Issues
The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University is a nonpartisan public policy organization focused on the state’s vibrancy and economic competitiveness. Since 1986, the Emerging Issues Forum has attracted leaders in business, education and public policy to discuss issues with profound implications for North Carolina’s future prosperity. For more than three decades, the Forum has helped catalyze the policy reforms, public investments and other proactive responses required to build an enduring capacity for progress in North Carolina.