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Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 2:29am

Leaders Gather to Move 'Georgia Forward'

Business leaders, academics, non-profits, community groups and others are meeting in northeast Georgia this week for the Third Annual GeorgiaForward forum.

The goal of the two-day event, which starts Wednesday, is to collaborate on improving the state's future.

"The whole idea is to try to erase the line of what some people refer to 'Two Georgias.' Some people would even argue that there are 'Three Georgias'….metro Atlanta, then the urban areas around the state, then there's rural. It's a very productive forum," says Doc Eldridge, the president of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.

The theme for this year is "Revisioning Statewide Prosperity."

Among the topics on the forum's agenda: discussing how to end childhood hunger in Georgia, and how healthcare can give the state an economic boost.

"It's a good exercise in stimulating you to kind of get out of the rut in the road and think outside. It keeps your awareness of other areas (of Georgia) that have issues outside of your own backyard," says Eldridge.

Keynote speakers include Ted Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations and Dr. Roland Stephen of SRI International.

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