Alaska Pride, Statewide
Emerging Leaders Develop Plan for Addressing Critical Issues Facing Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska—On Wednesday, 30 passionate leaders from across the state, all under the age of 40, came together at the Emerging Leaders Dialogue, hosted by Lead:North. This upcoming generation of Alaskan leaders is busy building careers and community—cultivating vibrant communities that attract other talented young professionals and raising their families, hopeful for a prosperous future. Participants from Anchorage, Barrow, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Sitka and Unalaska took time out of their busy lives and gathered with the goal of generating tactical solutions for making Alaska an enviable place to call home.
The diverse and dedicated group focused on two policy areas – education and economic development – where, as citizens and professionals, they can apply their influence and address common concerns. The Dialogue was action-oriented but also thoughtful in its approach to building consensus. Participants identified some key considerations for policy-makers:
- Ensure education system uses the maximum potential of technology, updates it regularly and trains teachers to use equipment creatively.
- Build partnerships between educators and Alaskan industries to develop sustainable economic success
- Promote the concept of “learning how to learn” to equip Alaskans with a skill set that empowers them to be lifelong learners
- Work collaboratively on a strategic plan to build statewide sustainable energy solutions and communications infrastructure.
- Develop Alaska pride statewide by using existing infrastructure to build and sustain a year-round economy
- Support a state policy that embraces diverse stakeholders when responding to innovative technological and economic opportunities
An overarching theme that emerged was the need for improved infrastructure—especially technology and communications—to facilitate connectivity. In a world where collaboration is imperative, the group agreed that rural and urban Alaskans need tools to be connected and opportunities such as this dialogue to build relationships across the state.
In order to create stronger statewide relationships, participants developed plans that include milestones, resource needs and accountabilities around four actions:
- Identifying roles and responsibilities for the rising general of leaders
- Implementation of young professional rural-urban exchanges
- Launching significant communities activities
- Catalyzing more meaningful mentoring opportunities
At the conclusion of the daylong session, participants stood up one-by-one and individually pledged to take a specific action in the next 30 days. Together, they represent an incredible commitment to civic engagement and inspired Alaska pride, statewide.
The Institute of the North hosts Lead:North, a platform from which young Alaskans, ages 21-40, are educated about - and engaged in - their responsibilities to one another, their community, and state. Participating in issues that affect our future, actively addressing our challenges, and leveraging our opportunities is an obligation necessary to a well-managed state. Lead:North provides the opportunities for young professionals and emerging leaders to step up into key policy discussions; political and civic engagement; and professional development.
About the Institute of the North
The Institute of the North’s mission is to inform public policy and cultivate an engaged citizenry consistent with our focus on the North and our belief that commonly-owned resources should be developed and managed for individual and community prosperity. The Institute of the North is both forward-thinking and global in its approach to the challenges and opportunities stemming from Alaska’s strategic location. The Institute of the North develops initiatives that cross sectors and the circumpolar North to empower northern peoples by increasing knowledge of northern issues, at a local, national and global level and strengthening Alaskans’ voices in northern decision-making.