ThinkND, a new independent, nonpartisan organization, is being launched at a critical time in our state. Even with current challenges, dramatic growth and diversification in our traditional energy, agriculture, and technology sectors as well as innovation in emerging industries are transforming North Dakota. For the first time in nearly a century, North Dakotans can look to the future with a sense of possibility and well-founded optimism about our state’s potential. However, our current climate of political polarization tends to disregard the concerns and aspirations of a majority of North Dakotans, and does little to inspire and attract the highly educated and skilled people our state needs to ensure future prosperity and quality of life.
North Dakotans identify with core values of honesty, integrity, kindness and perseverance, and our roots ground us in a tradition of common sense, cooperation and problem-solving. Unfortunately, our public life in North Dakota has begun to resemble the growing polarization that dominates much of the country today and that frustrates and disenfranchises a majority of Americans who reject extremism and resist labels.
In a state without independent and mainstream think tanks or public policy organizations, ThinkND is being launched to define, enlarge and advance a pragmatic, forward-thinking platform for our state. Its board includes men and women of diverse backgrounds: Republican, Democrat, Independent, and urban and rural who share a common commitment to fostering civil and constructive dialogue and action on behalf of North Dakota’s future.
ThinkND will gather, analyze, and present the opinions of citizens to candidates, policymakers, and the media. Based on this analysis, ThinkND will identify mainstream public priorities and bring together North Dakotans of goodwill to fashion commonsense solutions to address those priorities. ThinkND will then serve as a catalyst for positive action in support of those solutions.
The issues championed by ThinkND are not predetermined. In order to be sure we are best representing the will of North Dakotans, ThinkND conducts polls and focus groups across the state. We will listen to the people of North Dakota and prioritize issues accordingly.
New generations of North Dakotans attracted to the state’s economic opportunities and hospitable environment have only deepened the need for policy that reflects a long-term commitment to improving our communities, strengthening our workforce, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting good governance.
ThinkND is committed to conveying fact-based information and thoughtful analysis from legitimate sources of polling and data on issues that impact or reflect our shared values. In an era of particularly pervasive partisanship and out-of-state interests pouring money and resource into our state’s elections, ThinkND will stand out as a nonpartisan, trusted source for North Dakota voters to turn to for credible representation of their beliefs, and for candidates and elected officials to rely upon for authentic information about what matters to the majority of the state’s citizens.