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PILOT 21 Developing Future Public Policy Leaders

All of us have ideas about how our state and country can “do it better.” But few of us take the time to develop those ideas and turn them into action. In 2021, the Institute for Emerging Issues will be working with students from nine North Carolina universities to identify a big issue they want to think about, develop ideas on and try to move forward together.

PILOT 21 (Policy Innovation Leaders for Tomorrow 2021), sponsored by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, will identify students at Duke, NC A&T State, NC Central, NC State, Shaw, UNC Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington and Wake Forest with a passion for public policy. In March 2021, the students will come together virtually to identify a big area of public policy they would like to work on. Using data from the Carolina Demography Center, and with support from faculty mentors, small student teams from each campus will work with students on other campuses during the fall of 2021 to develop specific policy ideas, culminating with a student summit at NC State. They’ll get advice from current policymakers. Then they’ll look for opportunities to share their ideas on a local and state level.

“This is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience learning about how public policy works, how to negotiate to develop consensus, and how to move ideas forward,” said IEI director Leslie Boney. “And we hope it also gets some of the students excited about a future career in public policy.”