Scottsbluff Registration Under Way
Registration is under way for our fourth Conversations Conference, to be held at the Harms Technology Center on the Scottsbluff campus of Western Nebraska Community Conference on Friday, August 19, 2011. Click here to register for the conference.

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Grand Island Conference in the News
All of the local media gave good coverage to the Conversations Conference held in Grand Island on May 26. Co-sponsored by Central Community College, the Conference was deemed by facilitators and resource specialists to have been one of the most dynamic. The photos at the top of this column, taken by Katie Torpy of the Joslyn Institute, can be viewed in larger form by clicking on each image.

Click on the links below to view some of the excellent coverage of the event provided by the local newspaper and television stations.

"Conversations" Could Lead to Environmental Action by Steve White, Nebraska TV

Nebraska Talks About Sustaining State Resources by Sara Geake, KOLN-KGIN TV

Conversations Conference focuses on Nebraska's future by Robert Pore, Grand Island Independent

Conversations Conference addresses Nebraska resources by Amy West, KHAS-TV

In addition, newspapers from Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, Omaha, and Lincoln picked up on an Associated Press news story about the conference in Grand Island.

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Two Important New Papers
W. Cecil Steward has provided a PDF of his paper Water Wars—Ten Years of Funding Will Not Be Enough. Click here to download the paper.

He has also provided us with a PDF of his new essay Nebraska’s Destiny is Yet to Come. Click here to download the PDF.

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There appears to be a "competition" between growing crops for food and energy. Are there other resources that can be used for alternative fuels? Whose responsibility is it to make changes—politicians, scientists, experts, communities?

Nebraska hasn’t had a comprehensive energy policy in 20 years, and the federal government has never had one. It is past time to create energy policies at the local, state, and national level, and make sure they are in sync with one another, with more control given to local users.

How does public policy contribute to urban sprawl? What are the links between fiscal policy and land use? Do we need to do away with farm subsidies, and, if so, how do we do so while preserving economic stability? Does economic development need to be at odds with land preservation? And what should local government be doing?

These are among the dozens of Conversations begun at the first two Conversations Conference, held November 2 at Creighton University and February 11 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Deemed a success by the more than 300 participants, the Conferencse began the year-long exploration of five crucial resources—land, food, water, energy, and materials—and how we can best preserve them as well as use them intelligently for development. The aim of the Conversations Conferences is to bring together the best questions, ideas and solutions from a diverse population and present imperatives to lawmakers and other officials at the end of all of the Conferences, with an eye toward influencing public policy.

Future Conversations Conferences will be held on May 26, 2011, at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island; and on August 19, 2011 at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff. To register for any of these conferences, click here.

Meanwhile, watch this space for further reporting from the Conversations Conferences. We intend to put summary papers in this space for downloading.


KCAU-TV picked up an Associated Press story about the first Conversations Conference. Click here to view it.

A view of the land and materials conversations at the Creighton University conference

Conversations Conferences Videos
By Doug Boyd

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