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2040 Initiative

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution's 2040 Initiative

Creighton University is proud to offer our graduate students a unique, immersive learning experience that grows from our awareness that the nation is in the midst of unprecedented change. Developed by our esteemed faculty scholars, Creighton’s 2040 Initiative offers our students an interdisciplinary experience that spans educational opportunities and addresses the challenges that arise when dramatically changing demographic trends intersect with law and politics.

Census Bureau statistics from 2012 showed that for the first time non-Hispanic Whites were a minority of babies born in the United States. By the year 2040, demographers predict the U.S will be “majority minority,” with people of color making up a majority of the U.S. population. Additional sweeping trends such as the aging of the Baby Boom generation, continuing urbanization, growing wealth inequality, political polarization, and the persistence of gender inequality led to the creation of the 2040 Initiative at Creighton.

Located in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NCR) program of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, the 2040 Initiative teaches students to engage in constructive conversations about these challenging social shifts – individually and as members of institutions and communities.

The 2040 Initiative prepares students to:

  • Create bridges that help us move past political polarization and address challenges such as immigration, criminal justice, housing, education, health, and energy and the environment
  • Articulate a collective identity that embraces individuals with a broad range of characteristics and worldviews
  • Address geographical concentrations and divisions of racial, ethnic, political and other groups
  • Bring the nation’s children into productive adulthood through education and connection to entrepreneurial and other economic opportunity
  • Renew essential physical, institutional, and civic infrastructure
  • Confront wealth inequality and other trends that are contributing to social division and frayed social trust
  • Understand how systems create inequalities and provide the skillset to successfully address needed change
  • Provide organizing skills for civic, community, and institutional transformation

Historically, negotiation and conflict resolution programs largely encompass person-to-person processes when addressing conflict. At Creighton, our faculty utilize the framework of the 2040 Initiative to address structural conflict and injustice. They encourage students to understand social institutions and systems and to build a foundation for justice and solidarity in the 21st Century.

Creighton’s 2040 Initiative connects demographics, politics, law, and other disciplines and areas of practice. We provide space for exploring and discussing the implications of identified trends and offer context and perspective for those who are grappling with these social issues in their personal and professional lives.

Programmatically, Creighton’s 2040 Initiative:

  • Conducts an interdisciplinary seminar for Creighton undergraduate and graduate students
  • Hosts speakers, discussions, and other community events on 2040-related topics
  • Organizes academic presentations and conferences to develop awareness and deepen the understanding and implications of demographic and other social trends
  • Is developing a 15-credit graduate certificate “Organizing for Justice and Solidarity in the 21st Century,” which will provide understanding of structural injustices and skills for transformational change