GeorgiaForward Holds First ‘State of Our State’ Forum in Macon, Georgia

August 17,2010

Bringing Together Georgia’s Leaders to Craft a Common Vision for the State

MACON, Ga – On August 25, 2010, business, civic, academic and government leaders from around the state will meet at the Macon State College Conference Center to discuss a common vision for Georgia and how best to tackle some of Georgia’s most pressing challenges. The event will be the first of its kind aimed at bridging Georgia’s geographic, economic, cultural and political divides in order to craft a forward-looking agenda for the Peach State. The conference is hosted by GeorgiaForward, a new, non-partisan initiative started out of the concern that the absence of a common vision for Georgia damages the state’s ability to keep pace with its peer states and prevents it from adequately addressing major challenges such as transportation, economic development and water. Helping lead the initiative is Amir Farokhi. Over the past few months, Farokhi and the leadership team have visited cities all around Georgia including Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon and Savannah.

“The Forum will bring together stakeholders from every corner of Georgia to discuss a common vision for our state. For too long, we’ve allowed our state’s divides to keep us from communicating with each other as Georgians and from thinking collaboratively about big ideas for Georgia’s future.” says Farokhi. “We hope that the conference is the start of an ongoing conversation that helps Georgia regain its focus and spurs open and cooperative work for Georgia’s benefit.”

The GeorgiaForward 2010 Forum at a glance:

What: GeorgiaForward 2010 Forum
Who: Business, Civic, Academic and Government Stakeholders
When: August 25, 2010 from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with a pre-conference social event the evening of August 24.
Where: Macon State College Conference Center
How: To register go to

“We’re looking for people from all over the state with different issues, different considerations,” says A.J. Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress, the organization that started the effort that is now GeorgiaForward. “By bringing the state together, these barriers that have held us at odds will begin to fall because, at the end of the day, we are all interconnected and need to work together if Georgia is going to remain a great place to live, work, learn and play.”

The Forum will feature speakers from across the state, including Dr. David Bell, President, Macon State College; Macon Mayor Robert Reichert; Dr. Harold Hodgkinson, Director, Center for Demographic Policy; Laura Meadows, Associate Director, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia; Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver; and Anita Brown-Graham, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues (North Carolina). The Forum will also feature expert panel discussions on the new transportation bill, water equity, economic development and education.

For a full agenda, visit

For more information about GeorgiaForward and its on-going efforts, please go to

Read more about GeorgiaForward in Maria Saporta's latest column in the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Media Contact: Sara Milton, Central Atlanta Progress, 404-658-5908