Next Gen. Summit

Next Gen. Summit is a two day conference created to inspire, empower and develop young professionals who live and work in ICR IOWA. In 2018, we're going bigger than ever before. Next Gen. Summit will be offered as a track at The Gazette's Iowa Ideas conference September 20-21 in Downtown Cedar Rapids!

Next Gen. Summit + Iowa Ideas

Iowa Ideas launched in 2017 as a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa. Who better to have at the table when discussing the future of Iowa than the next generation of Iowa leaders?

Here's what gain from this partnership:

  • Access to all Iowa Ideas tracks and sessions. Your ticket purchase gives you access to any sessions offered in any other track. There will be a total of 64 sessions at Iowa Ideas 2018. 64! We're positive you'll find something you're passionate about.
  • Additional half-day of sessions. Next Gen. Summit has traditionally been a one-day conference. Keep the momentum going for another half-day on Friday, Sept. 21.
  • The chance to share your thoughts with our community's decision makers. Young professionals hold the power to shape the future of our state, and today's leaders want young professionals’ thoughts and opinion. Make your voice heard this year.

While this partnership will heighten the experience of Next Gen. Summit attendees, here's what's not changing:

  • A full, energy-packed day of local and national experts designed to inspire, empower and develop young professionals.
  • Scholarship opportunities. Students and Iowa residents can fill out a short application and answer the question “Why do you want to attend the Iowa Ideas conference?” for a chance to attend the conference for free.
  • Student discounts. High school and college students can take advantage of a discounted ticket price for the full conference.
  • Networking opportunities with other area young professionals. We're still going to get you meeting new people and chatting with your peers!

Next Gen. Summit + Iowa Ideas

Ticket sales are open now! Plan ahead and grab a super early bird ticket for $150 until May 29. All ticket sales will be completed through thegazette.com. A two-day, or single Thursday Iowa Ideas ticket is your pass to Next Gen. Summit 2018. Click here to buy your ticket now.

A Look Back at 2017

Last year's theme "Root Yo'Self" kept more than 200 attendees on their toes all day!

At check-in, attendees wrote what they were rooted to on their nametag. It was a chance to see the vast array of passions held by young professionals, with topics like community development, performing arts, volunteering and more. Young professionals jumped into the day with a speed networking session, where a larger percentage of attendees shared it was their first time at Next Gen. Summit.

October is National Emotional Intelligence Month

It was only fitting that Bill Marklein, founder and CEO of Employ Humanity, delivered a powerful keynote on the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Time and time again, we hear from employers that soft skills like emotional intelligence are vital to successful employees. Bill's keynote highlighted the similarities among attendees, with an interactive survey throughout his address. The audience answered questions on their phones that displayed live results from the room on things like how long they've lived in the Corridor, how they feel at the beginning of a new work week and if they feel their boss empowers them or not.

Closing Session Keeps Up the Energy

The conference's closing session was re-imagined this year to end the day full of energy. The Mount Vernon Marching Band lead conference-goers from the DoubleTree by Hilton to the Tree of Five Seasons in downtown Cedar Rapids. Aaron Marie Thoms, Director of Training & Development at TrueNorth, Brooke Fitzgerald, Owner of The Early Bird Cafe and Roby Miller, Co-Founder of Built By Iowa spoke about finding their way in their professional life, and how having a traditional career path is not the only way to achieve job satisfaction.


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