Arizona Comes of Age

Arizona’s coming of age means becoming a place where citizens and leaders are fully committed to achieving the goals of the people who live here.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is advancing a vision for Arizona in 2025 where:

  • Arizona citizens and leaders actively pursue a common roadmap for the future.
  • Arizona's education system ensures excellence and equity for every student.
  • Arizona’s civic and political culture will be characterized by multi-sector collaborations that move citizen goals forward.

When the Center for the Future of Arizona was established in 2002, it was a time of dynamic change in Arizona. While the economy was still growing, there was an underlying uneasiness as to where Arizona was headed with repeated calls for strong leadership that could create a vision for the state’s future.

The central question before us then and now remains the same. How can Arizona accelerate the rate at which it continues to bring economic prosperity, quality of life and opportunity to the people who live here?

CFA was established as a nonpartisan, nonprofit resource to explore the questions that challenge us, focus on big ideas, impartial analyses and collaborative leadership that is willing and able to identify long-term solutions to the most challenging issues of our time.

Our intent was never to focus on immediate concerns or to simply identify major issues for discussion. From the beginning our commitment as a self-defined “do tank” is to take specific steps toward helping Arizonans take promising ideas into action.

We focus on the long-term future of the state and the way we approach our work is very straightforward and consistent.

At Center for the Future of Arizona we continually seek to:

  • Understand “who we are” as Arizonans by identifying and assessing the goals of the people who live here.
  • Identify those high-impact issues where new ideas, designs and systems are gaining momentum that need to be made part of the public discussion and explored more deeply.
  • Develop promising ideas into projects that can be implemented to test their impact and value.
  • Advance proven ideas, directly or with partners, in ways that offer a higher probability of success.

In both practice and theory, citizen goals are at the heart of all we do. We believe this commitment fits well with the more modern, western form of the Arizona Constitution that vests greater responsibility than earlier eastern models in citizens as active participants in the policy process.

In short, our efforts are focused on achieving the results that only come with long-term planning, successful execution by Arizona leaders and, most importantly, the active and continuing involvement of the people of Arizona.

From the beginning our efforts have relied on data that includes both quantitative and qualitative indicators. We hope you will agree that we need leaders and citizens who are fully engaged in the challenges that confront us and who are willing to work together to fully realize the state’s future.

As a young and ambitious state working at the forefront of the nation’s challenges, the progress we make over the next 10 years will benefit Arizona and the nation.