Shaping our Future:  Purpose, Partnership, Possibilities

Framing Sustainable Solutions

NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies Celebrates 50 Years in 2019

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019
WHERE: NIU Holmes Student Center, main campus, DeKalb

For the past 50 years, Northern Illinois University’s (NIU) Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) has provided applied research, technical assistance, and public sector capacity-building services to our region, state, and beyond.  On Nov. 7, 2019, a one-day convening will be held at Holmes Student Center on NIU’s DeKalb campus to celebrate CGS’s five decades of generating and sharing knowledge with its many university and external partners and chart a course for the future.

This celebration will not only highlight CGS accomplishments, but also will be future-focused: how to understand and harness the demographic, economic, environmental, and technological forces that are reshaping our world.  This discovery process will begin with a keynote address by Neil Howe, an authority on generations and social change in America.  He will share the results of his research on generational cycles, or "turnings", in America which reveal predictable social trends that recur throughout history.  

Dr. Howe’s insights will lay the foundation for an exploration of four priority areas affecting hundreds of Northern Illinois communities with which we have worked:

  • New models and strategies to strengthen local economies
  • Environmental stewardship and energy conservation
  • Fiscal sustainability in non-profit organizations and local government
  • New and emerging community health challenges and resources

Each of these multifaceted areas will be addressed by two separate panels of practitioners, researchers, and community leaders. Sessions will promote interaction between panelists and attendees to discover innovative solutions and suggestions for future partnerships with NIU. Ideas and priorities from each panel will be captured, summarized, and presented to participants near the end of the event. 

CGS will use this information to inform its strategic priorities for the next three years, and learning communities will be created for those interested in continuing to formulate innovative and effective solutions.  NIU President Lisa Freeman will conclude the conference with her observations on the day’s themes and the role NIU will play in addressing them.  

We hope you will join us in this day of celebration and idea exchange.  You will become better connected to like-minded stakeholders as we explore the complex challenges confronting our region and share successful approaches to navigating those challenges.  Your participation will also help NIU determine where its research, technical assistance, and capacity-building resources are best targeted.

If you are interested in receiving detailed program information as it becomes available, please email your contact information to Kathy Siebrasse at  For details about conference sponsorships, please see the Sponsorship Form (PDF); or contact Dawn Peters at or (815) 753-0923 or Greg Kuhn at or (815) 753-2789.

CGS Contact

Center for Governmental Studies

Northern Illinois University
148 North Third Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2828

Phone: 815-753-1907
Fax:  815-753-7278