Take a moment to think of the place you call home–your community. What do you love about your community? What do you wish you could change about your community? What is the one issue that has weighed on your mind for years–the one challenge you’ve always wanted to address in your community? Have you been waiting for an opportunity to bring your community together and tackle this issue once and for all? We would love to help you do just that.

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of “What’s Next, Alabama?” (WNAL), a three-year deliberative forum series focused on issues of community, economic, and workforce development in Alabama. The WNAL forum series is more ambitious than any we’ve done before as participating communities will convene not one, but three, forums. Each forum will focus broadly on an overarching question:

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to go?

3. How do we get there?

The issue guide found here will be used to prompt deliberation in each forum. WNAL forums will bring Alabamians together to talk with each other and through issues, instead of just at each other and about issues. Participating Alabamians will be encouraged not only to speak their mind, but to listen actively, and take time to think through the intricacies of complex issues and possible solutions.

While loosely centered on issues of community, economic, and workforce development, WNAL will bring communities together to define what the good life means for them. Any issue that is important to your community on its quest to achieve a better life will inform the conversation of WNAL. We deeply respect the work you do to engage your community, and we hope to connect with you throughout this forum series to hear what is important to you and your community.