Vision for Iowa

Iowa. Don't come here. Maybe that should be our motto. If you don't come here, you would not see this sunrise over Bellevue and the Mississippi River.

Thursday night you’ll get to hear the view of 4 Iowans on the future of the state. Where are we headed? Are we all about year-round school? Is it keeping the best and brightest here through education incentives? Or is it all about the love?

We do drop a couple of good points on you, but you may be surprised in how our varied panel agreed on some things.

A little background here.

View of the Iowa State capital from Downtown Des Moines

We wanted to take a different approach to the beginning-of-the-year-what-can-we-expect show. We also didn’t want to totally do the show on politics or what the Iowa Legislature needs to do in the upcoming session. That’s what Iowa Press is for.

We wanted to do something a bit different. The producers of the show, Nancy Crowfoot, Judy Blank and myself started heading to a roundtable-type discussion show. Bring in some guests and ask their views on the future of the state.

Producer Judy Blank said one day during a meeting, “how about putting Michael Gartner next to Shawn Crahan?”

That would mean putting the former president of NBC News, editor of the Wall Street Journal, Iowa Board of Regents member, owner of the Iowa Cubs next to a percussionist of the heavy-metal and Grammy award-winning band Slipknot.

I loved the idea. Just the 2-shot of them next to each other was worth the price of admission.

We then went back and forth on the rest of show. I wanted to put 8 or 10 people on a panel and just go crazy for an hour. I did not win that part of the discussion.

Have the brightest days of Iowa already passed and now we're watching the sunset? View over Clear Lake, IA.

We started a list, even soliciting several of your ideas on visionaries or people who are doing some rare things in Iowa, could easily have left the state, or would offer some good discussion points.

I may at a later time post who we started with and how we pared it down. I think the list grew to 40 before Christmas.

We used this criteria to see who would best fit our idea. We asked the question, “what is Iowa’s biggest hurdle and how does that impact your life and livelihood?”

Daniel Shipton, Michael Gartner, M. Shawn Crahan and Kesho Scott, on the set of The Iowa Journal at Iowa Public Television. The picture was taken following the taping of the January 28th, 2010 program. Image from IPTV.

Kesho Scott of Grinnell College has been to Iowa Public Television before to serve other shows. She had views on her role as a college professor and grew up outside of Iowa. She’s been here 20+ years and now calls herself an Iowan. Scott is an associate professor at Grinnell. She’s an author, diversity trainer and won a Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality.

Daniel Shipton was recommended by several people and garnered attention as our pick for the panel. He’s a native Iowan, went to Iowa State for their virtual reality program and stayed in Iowa to do what he does. He is CEO at BitMethod and director of operations at Impromtu Studio in Des Moines. BitMethod does among many things, designs iPhone apps. He’s got 3 on the market now that he’s helped designed. Impromptu has hosted Ignite Des Moines and Movement Bash. He’s interested in fostering the growth of Iowa’s hi-tech industry.

Our program airs Thursday at 8p on Iowa Public Television. It will re-air Friday at 630p. You will be able to view it online at www.iptv.org/iowajournal sometime Friday, if not before.

Here’s where you find the official release.

Gartner was on our program about college sports spending and our media matters or who will report when the reporters are gone show.
Shawn Crahan talked about his role in Slipknot on our Music Industry in Iowa program. He was next to Jason Walsmith of the Nada’s.

Will our future of Iowa be in the urban areas like Cedar Rapids?

So how do you see Iowa in the next 20-30 years?
Who needs to lead change in the state? Does the leadership come from the golden dome in Des Moines or does it come from mainstreet Sioux Center?
What is not being talked about that needs to be?
How and why do we keep young people in our state?
What is your big idea for Iowa?

Welcome to Iowa. We have seasons.

All good questions and I’d like to hear your thoughts on all of them.

If you have any thoughts on the program send them to the bosses here at IPTV.

Want to view the show now? Go ahead and click here for an explanation of clips and more back ground on the show. Or just click here for the video of the show.

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