History of the Strategic Issues Program at DU
The first DU strategic issues panel was the Colorado Economic Futures Panel, convened in 2005. This panel undertook a comprehensive, systemic examination of Colorado's fiscal structure, the complex interrelationships of constitutional limits and mandates, the process of making public fiscal decisions, local government funding, and other related matters.
The panel's report included a number of recommendations, many of which helped shape a portion of Colorado's legislative agenda. In 2006 another panel examined Colorado's Water Future. The 2007 strategic issues panel is examining the Future of Colorado's Constitution.
The Non-Partisan, Information-Driven, Consensus-Based Model
Although the topics studied by strategic issues panels vary widely, all panels follow a similar process. Over a period of several months panel members examine the selected issue in depth, weighing research and opinions from a variety of sources and engaging in discussions based on the information presented and panelist?s own thinking.
Through a process of informed discourse, the panel focuses on developing consensus findings and recommendations on the issue. Strategic issues panels are completely independent, free to develop such conclusions as panel members consider appropriate. The panel's final report is widely shared with the general public, the media, public officials, business and community leaders, and other interested parties.
Whatever the issue, all strategic issues panels are non-partisan in their orientation and rely on informed, civil discussion among panelists. They seek practical solutions to issues rather than ideologically-oriented outcomes. Panels are composed of thoughtful citizens from various segments of the community but do not attempt to be representative in a traditional political sense. They use a consensus process to identify underlying issues and develop recommendations.