GeorgiaForward Explores “Homegrown” Strategies At 2013 Forum

June 5,2013

“The fourth GeorgiaForward Forum will focus on how Georgia can remain a great place to live, learn, work and play through ‘homegrown’ strategies,” says Amir Farokhi, Executive Director of GeorgiaForward.  “Our theme this year is Homegrown: Strengthening Georgia From Within, and we have a fantastic program planned featuring noted experts and thought-provoking keynote speakers from around the country including Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President for CNN Worldwide, Anita Brown-Graham of the Institute for Emerging Issues, Kate Sofis from SFMade, and Dr. Ronnie Chatterji from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Join us at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in Atlanta on July 11 & 12 for interactive and robust discussions on ways to improve the future of Georgia.”

From people to products, music to services, what can Georgia grow well “at home”? While Georgia is integrated into and dependent upon the national and global economy, in a competitive environment in which quality of life, human capital and local production are the distinguishing markers of successful countries and states, being strong at home can be the edge that provides economic and cultural vibrancy.
There will be dedicated sessions on these topics:

  • Health + Education: How can Georgia grow healthier kids?
  • Energy + Environment: Growing more energy in Georgia
  • Growing Rural Georgia: Approaches for a vibrant 21st century rural Georgia
  • Technology + Place: Can communities create more tech companies?
  • Agriculture + Health + Economic Development: Can the local food movement create healthier Georgians and a healthier economy?
  • Youth + Civic Engagement: How do we grow civic engagement among the “Millennial” generation?
  • Technology + Education: Do we need to change how we teach and grow our kids?
  • Soft power: Growing Georgia’s Global Influence

The Forum will also include full discussions on the future of rural Georgia through the work of the 2013 Young Gamechangers and the soon-to-be released Georgia Civic Health Index, a measure of how civically engaged we are in Georgia.

Featured speakers for the 2013 Forum are:

  • Anita Brown-Graham, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues, NC State University. She will discuss what smart states are doing to be vibrant and competitive.
  • Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President for CNN Worldwide. She’ll give global examples of countries and communities “strengthening from within.”
  • Kate Sofis, Executive Director, SFMade. Her focus will be on how manufacturing and companies producing locally-made products can strengthen local economies.
  • Dr. Lattie Coor, Chair and CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona; President Emeritus, Arizona State University. He will discuss boosting civic engagement and why it is important.                                                                                                                  
  • Dr. Ronnie Chatterji, Professor, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Former Senior Economist, White House Council of Economic Advisors. He will provide insights on macro-economic trends that Georgia should be considering as it plans its economic future.
  • Monica Campana, Living Walls. She’ll discuss how street art can boost civic engagement and allegiance.
  • Jamil Zainaldin, President, Georgia Humanities Council. He will speak about Georgia’s history as a leader in civic engagement.

There is no other gathering like the Forum in Georgia. Each year hundreds of decision-makers and idea-generators from business, government and civil society gather to explore emerging trends and form new partnerships to forge a stronger state. At the Forum, businesses have found new clients, elected officials have made new partnerships, and non-profits and foundations have found new direction. Don’t miss it!

Registration includes a reception on the evening of July 11, as well as a light breakfast, daily snacks and beverages and lunch on both days of the 2013 Forum. Full Forum cost is $160.00; Nonprofit/Government rate is $120.00; One Day Pass is $90.00 and a Student One Day Pass is $35.00. Special room rates are available at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center for Forum attendees. For more details and to register to attend the 2013 Forum, visit

“We invite people to join us and become part of the conversation about Georgia’s future,” adds Amir Farokhi, Executive Director of GeorgiaForward.  “The goal of the Forum is not only to discuss and identify new ideas for growth, but also to gain commitments from organizations and leaders to act on those solutions.” 

The 2013 GeorgiaForward Forum is presented by Bank of America. Additional sponsors include Central Atlanta Progress & Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, Kaiser Permanente, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Humanities Council, New Town Macon, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Municipal Association, GeorgiaTrend Magazine, and Georgia 10X10.           

GeorgiaForward is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, incorporated in 2010, and is not affiliated with any political, partisan, local or regional interest. Connect with GeorgiaForward on Facebook, Twitter and web site: