Next Friday, the North Carolina Chamber will host top business leaders for a discussion on the dynamics of North Carolina’s demography and its impacts on the state’s business climate.

The event, taking place the morning of December 7 at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, is framed around the population shifts North Carolina has experienced in the past five years since NC Chamber launched its Vision 2030 initiative in 2013.

Vision 2030 was the start of NC Chamber’s role in providing policy recommendations ensuring North Carolina’s progress in four vital areas—education and talent supply, competitive business climate, entrepreneurship and innovation, and infrastructure and growth leadership.

North Carolina is securing increasing returns on its economic growth in these areas, receiving national and international notice.

Just this week, North Carolina secured its position for the second consecutive year as #1 on ForbesBest States for Business and Careers report, which cited key points such as low energy and tax costs, high labor supply and high growth prospects.

Shifts in infrastructure, innovation and talent supply are the key areas of focus for North Carolina business going forward.

Chamber Marketing Manager Emmy Boyette says the Future of North Carolina Forum began as a channel to communicate the goals and progress of the NC Chamber Foundation to its members and the statewide business community.

“As one of the fastest growing states in America, North Carolina desperately needs a long-term plan to deal with the many challenges that come with growth,” Boyette adds.

The Future of North Carolina Forum will convene business leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities for North Carolina’s future within these areas.

During the event, NC Chamber will recap the accomplishments and milestones reached in the first five years after Vision 2030 kicked off.

The program features an address by Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr., professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC and director of the university’s Urban Investment Strategies Center, who will discuss the changing distribution and size of the U.S. population, and what these shifts mean for socioeconomic dynamics. His presentation will also outline six trends that are disrupting North Carolina’s business community.

A panel of business leaders will also share their take on the shifts in North Carolina’s demographics. Panelists include Wells Fargo Foundation Senior VP Juan Austin, Blue Cross NC President and CEO Patrick Conway, SEPI Engineering & Construction President and CEO Sepi Saidi, Mechanics and Farmers Bank President and CEO James Sills, and Melanie Sanders, media trainer, host and producer at Walk West.

Dr. Sam Sternberg, an assistant professor of molecular biophysics at Columbia University, will present a talk on CRISPR technology, its developments in biology and genome engineering, and its potential to transform entire industries.

In conclusion, Glen Raven Chairman Allen E. Gant, Jr. will deliver a presentation on North Carolina’s future.

Organizers expect an audience of around 250 attendees. Tickets are priced at $300 for NC Chamber board members, $350 for regular members and $450 for non-members. This pricing schedule applies until December 3. Late pricing starts December 4.