Leaders envision the state’s next 100 years

By Shelby Mullis
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — With less than 100 days until Indiana celebrates its 200th birthday on December 11, Hoosier leaders are looking ahead to the future of Indiana with a new project.

The Bicentennial Visioning Project is a book containing 50 ideas from more than 110 thought-leaders and subject-matter experts. The goal is for these ideas to help shape the state’s future.

Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann and Bicentennial Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton presented the commision with the Bicentennial Visioning Project book. The book features a list of 50 ideas on how to improve Indiana’s future. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com

Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann and Bicentennial Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton presented the commision with the Bicentennial Visioning Project book. The book features a list of 50 ideas on how to improve Indiana’s future. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com

“In the celebration of our first 200 years as a state, we would miss an opportunity if we did not also use this time to consider Indiana’s next century,” said former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, who co-chairs the Bicentennial Commission.

Hamilton, alongside Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann, presented the 155-page book to the commission Wednesday.

“We looked at, in total, 11 different areas ranging from education to the economy to philanthropy,” Ellspermann said.

In a series of 13 sessions during the fall of 2015, leaders from across the state brainstormed the ideas together. Those ideas range from how to provide quality pre-K across the state to ending gerrymandering.

“This is an impressive document,” Hamilton said. “It’s impressive because we picked leaders in these various areas to talk about their vision of Indiana — not next year, not three or four years in the future, but 25 or 50 years into the future. I don’t know of any other project that has done that.”

Co-chair of the Bicentennial Commission Becky Skillman accepted the report Wednesday, calling it a step forward toward leaving a legacy.

The Sagamore Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Indianapolis, already has plans to incorporate the ideas into a future project.

“We at Sagamore are extremely impressed with the work of the Bicentennial Visioning Project and believe that the report must not remain just another book on the shelf,” President and CEO Jay Hein said in a statement.

The full report is available online at www.in.gov/ibc/indianafuture.

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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