CEDBR wants to encourage diversity both within the Economic Outlook Conference events speakers and participants.  The center believes embracing different views and backgrounds will provide a more dynamic and holistic view of economic conditions and trends, which will translate into better decision making for community and business leaders attending the events.  

CEDBR has identified three broad ways to foster an environment of inclusion: diversity of content experts, inclusive environment for guests, and building a pipeline of future leaders.  In all three approaches, the center believes encouraging participation from different backgrounds that are both inherited and acquired over the course of a lifetime will provide a more robust event for everyone.  This type of environment is valuable for both the business and community leaders that are engaged in developing policies and strategies who impact broad groups of constituents.

The following are the initial strategies identified by staff with community input:

Diversity of content experts

The center recognizes that every individual and organization has a limited network of people they know and interact with on a regular basis.  The center recognizes there are qualified experts outside of the boundaries of its professional network who could add value in understanding complex economic issues facing Kansas leaders.

In order to encourage more diversity of speakers, the center has created the following speaker recommendation form.  All recommendations will be kept on file for at least three years and will be used as the first source in identifying experts.  

Speaker recommendation details and submission form: http://www.cedbr.org/events/speaker-recomendation

Inclusive environment

Networking is often cited as one of the valued aspects of the outlook events.  The center has strategically designated networking times to provide opportunities to discuss relevant economic issues, build social networks, and provide new business and professional opportunities.  The center wants to be strategic in making sure community and business leaders from diverse backgrounds are invited to be part of the broader discussions in regards to the regional economic conditions.  To accomplish this, the center identified two strategies: invite key organizations and leaders to the event and identify opportunities to overcome barriers (e.g. financial and physical).   The tasks related to both of these strategies are currently being developed.   

If you have a recommendation of an organization that should be invited or a barrier that CEDBR should overcome, please let us know. https://goo.gl/forms/bMMVwE87Kk0BY4n93

Pipeline of future leaders

It has been identified that the pipeline of leaders and economists might not be as diverse as the region and state economy. CEDBR believes that awareness and understanding of complex economic issues is important for all Kansans, especially future leaders.   

  • The following are some of the strategies the Center has outlined:
    • Mentorship of emerging WSU leaders
      • CEDBR is currently developing the criteria and sponsorship opportunities
    • Provide information and engage students to improve economic awareness of their regional economy.
      • Provide data and analysis for teachers to share with students
      • Invite teachers to participate at the economic outlook conferences
      • Engage high school students about current economic conditions and future occupations

If you have a recommendation of how to engage future leaders, please let us know.