Join TJCOG at this day-long conference bringing together key stakeholders from across the region to rethink how to approach four critical challenges -regional transportation, affordable housing, community resilience, and economic mobility - in a new and holistic way. Attendees will partake in a systems thinking workshop led by Michael Goodman, an internationally recognized speaker, author, and practitioner in the fields of systems thinking, organizational learning, and social change, followed by panel discussions and case studies of innovative solutions to the four challenges. 

Event Sponsors


Affordable Housing Track

Community Resilience Track

Regional Transportation Track



Chatham Economic Development Corporation

Independent Benefit Advisors

Gilbane Building Company

Preston Development


Community Partners

Research Triangle CleanTech Cluster

Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL)


NC Economic Development Administration





The morning workshop will teach attendees the methodology of systems thinking and how to use it as a tool to create meaningful change, and, through small group work, identify the interconnected systems/factors affecting the biggest challenges in the region by analyzing the following questions:

  • Why, despite the region's best efforts, do we struggle to move from planning to implementation of widescale transportation efforts?
  • Why, despite it being a significant priority for the region, has preserving and improving affordable housing options been so difficult?
  • Why despite knowledge of increasing natural disasters and related damage, to communities struggle to build and rebuild with a resilience framework in mind?
  • Why, despite significant economic growth, is economic mobility limited in the region?

About the Keynote Speaker

Mr. Goodman is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and practitioner in the fields of Systems Thinking, Organizational Learning and Change, and Leadership. Mr. Goodman's main focus is transferring these learning disciplines into organizations to sustain their capacity for learning and change. He draws on 35+ years of experience leading courses and trainings to help apply systems approaches, and has published widely, authoring one of the first Systems Thinking textbooks and contributing to the Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge and Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Stroh. Mr. Goodman has designed and led leadership development programs for clients around the globe including the World Bank Group, IMF, Asia Development Bank, ReThink Health, and the New Zealand Leadership Development Center. 

Tentative Agenda 

** Subject to change**

8:00 am Registration Opens

9:00 am Welcome Remarks & Keynote Workshop

12:00 pm Networking Lunch & Regional Award Ceremony

1:00 pm "Unconventional Regional Solutions" 

  • Improving Coordination and Collaboration for Housing Service DeliveryWhat does collaborative home repair delivery look like across our communities and the region? How are different service partners fostering better coordination and systemic approaches to improve housing quality in the Triangle? Hear from TJCOG, the NC Justice Center, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, the Chatham County Council on Aging and the Orange County Department on Aging on the work being done with the assistance of the Southeastern Energy Efficiency Alliance to streamline and strengthen service delivery of energy efficiency programs across Chatham and Orange counties.
  • A System-Wide Approach to Improve Economic Mobility - The Charlotte-Mecklenberg region faces similar economic mobility challenges to the TJCOG region. Hear how their region's new cross-sector entity Leading on Opportunity has mobilized to address economic mobility and intergenerational poverty on a system-wide scale. The organization is responsible for implementing recommendations identified by the region's Leading on Opportunity Council and addressing key determinants of early care and education, college and career readiness, and child and family stability, while simultaneously encouraging and supporting public policy and practices to improve mobility in the region.

2:45 pm "Local Application" 

  • Chatham County's Affordable Housing EffortSince 2016, the Chatham County Affordable Housing project has effectively progressed from education and analysis to policy creation and implementation to address housing needs in the county. Through a County Affordable Housing Task Force and resident based Advisory Committee, the project has identified holistic strategies for the county, while recommending policies specific to the housing needs of each jurisdiction. This panel will discuss how the county-wide project came to be; afterward, staff and community leaders from Chatham County, Pittsboro, and Siler City will discuss the ways their unique approach to housing affordability feeds into the broader picture.  
  • Equitable Economic Development Utilizing Data Analysis - Equitable economic development unlocks the full potential of the local economy by dismantling barriers and expanding opportunities for lower-income citizens and communities of emphasis. During the past three years, Wake County Economic Development, a program of the Raleigh Chamber, has worked closely with Wake County Government to better understand Wake County’s most vulnerable communities and how to support and promote economic mobility for targeted growth areas. Hear how this partnership identified target areas, implemented people-based strategies in these areas, and modified incentive policies to encourage equitable development.

4:00 pm Closing Remarks

Prepare for the Event

Check out these resources on systems thinking and innovative solutions in advance of the summit to help you start rethinking your thinking!

TJCOG Rethinking Our Thinking Blog Series

Introduction to Systems Thinking 

Event Contact

Alana Keegan
Triangle J Council of Governments