Last week, the North Carolina Rural Center and a number of other key state and local partners helped support the sixth annual North Carolina Entrepreneurship Summit in Asheville, NC. Always a great event, the summit typically focuses on a key theme, with “Making a Scene” being this year’s concept. As such, the summit dug deeply into one of our perennial favorite topics: the role of co-work spaces as helping to “make a scene” for local entrepreneurs. The summit profiled Mojo, Asheville’s own co-work space, and also saw the release of an excellent guide and video about the state of co-working in North Carolina.
The guide and video are part of an interesting on-going project at North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues. The Generation Z Initiative examines how the upcoming youth generation-Generation Z–will transform our world. And, at the same time, it examines what needs to be done so that Generation Z can prosper and succeed in the 21st Century economy. In addition to a focus on co-working, the IEI is also sponsoring work to promote healthy eating and to develop effective business mentorship models for young people. You can learn more about that work here. These efforts are all excellent examples of how to get young people engaged in community development discussions now, so that they have a voice in how their future communities will be shaped.