Global Engagement Matters: North Carolina’s Blueprint for Success

“Greater global trade requires greater global understanding and diplomacy.”

The North Carolina Coalition for Global Competitiveness set its New Year’s 2016 resolution early: become a first-in-the-nation model for increased state global engagement.

The Coalition and the Center for International Understanding (becoming Go Global NC) unveiled its Blueprint for Global Engagement, a road map for elevating North Carolina’s global engagement efforts. Nearly 140 community, business, education, and government representatives were on hand at the SAS Executive Briefing Center in Cary during the Summit on Global Engagement. Speakers, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Aziz Sancar from UNC-Chapel Hill and Siler City Police Chief Gary Tyson, shared their international stories and perspectives, elaborating on the importance of connecting with the world.

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Jean Davis, CEO & President of MCNC, introduced the Blueprint at the Summit. “This Blueprint is a framework to coordinate global efforts among education, business, government, and community leaders to really amplify our work,” said Davis. Secretary Marshall added that the blueprint is about “being smarter in pursuing global opportunities in North Carolina…[because] greater global trade requires greater global understanding and diplomacy.”

The Blueprint was created after a year-long information gathering process that asked North Carolinians about the importance of North Carolina’s interactions with the rest of the world and what areas we need to focus on for global success. Regional meetings held in the Triad, Charlotte, Triangle, Greenville, Wilmington, and Asheville as well as one-on-one interviews augmented the rich experiences of thought leaders across the state.


This statewide effort arrived at six strategic areas of focus for North Carolina’s global success:

1 – Leadership

2 – Global Brand Identity

3 – Global Infrastructure & Logistics

4 – Global Economic Development

5 – Cross Cultural Competence

6 – Collaboration & Research

In early 2016, the Center for International Understanding will release the first dashboard of global indicators within these six strategic areas of focus to benchmark our state’s global engagement efforts.

North Carolina already has some impressive international connections: $31 million export market, hundreds of international companies employ more than 200,000 North Carolinians, and more than 17,000 international students at North Carolina colleges and universities. So why do we need a Blueprint? To amplify efforts. “Coordinated intentionality” – purposeful collaboration between all sectors for the greater good of North Carolina – is necessary to position North Carolina for greater global success, according to the Coalition. “The Blueprint is built on the idea that through planning and coordination, our international agencies can achieve better outcomes than by working independently – better results from the same level of aggregate resources,” said Jim Fain, former North Carolina Secretary of Commerce and chairman of the Coalition.

“North Carolina is globally connected,” the Blueprint states. “Globalization demands a new way of thinking and a new way of doing business. Our state’s future depends on making the most of this new reality and North Carolina is up for the challenge.”

Read the full Blueprint for Global Engagement and learn more about the N.C. Coalition for Global Engagement