Knowledge is Power

Although Sir Francis Bacon penned that line over 400 years ago, it couldn't be more relevant today. Whether we're talking about education for our children that leads to jobs in our state, or life-long learning that leads to a more enriching life, gaining knowledge is the power that keeps us growing.

That's why the theme for the 2011 NC Governor's Conference for Women is Power Up, Power On! On November 2 in Charlotte, we will find ways to inform, inspire and educate each other—and then take our learnings back to our communities.

North Carolina stands in a place of great opportunity. Two years ago, as the recession and financial crisis hit home, our prospects looked dim. Now, we are being heralded nationally as innovators in the way we are leading the state out of recession.

But at a time when business analysts are warning us of a "reverse brain drain" that threatens our national economy, our state must be proactive in the one thing that can propel us to success: education.

Governor Perdue makes the same connection that Francis Bacon did—that knowledge and understanding will lead to the power of innovation. And innovation, in this modern economy, will lead to jobs. The governor's goal is that North Carolina out-educate, out-innovate and out-build the competition to ensure that our state continues to be a great place to raise our families and thrive in our careers.

Through her vision, you'll see a theme of learning and the spirit of innovation throughout the conference. We'll scour the state and the country to find the best cutting-edge information on your health, your finances, your business and your life. We'll talk about where we are in our state in terms of education and jobs—and where will still need to go.

And, you'll be inspired by the stories you hear from our rich roster of speakers.

Our keynote speaker, best-selling author Terry McMillan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale, Getting to Happy), learned about the power of knowledge at the age of 16. Growing up in a difficult family environment in Michigan, McMillan found solace and inspiration at her first job shelving books at a public library.

The writers she discovered as a teen created a life-long quest for learning. She moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 and took a class in African American literature that inspired to her to write. Now an internationally celebrated author, McMillan attributes her exposure to books at the public library with the beginnings of her success.

Perhaps you'll be exposed to something at the conference that has such an effect on your life. Or, perhaps you'll bring your daughter or another young person whose life will be changed forever. Whatever happens, I guarantee you'll learn a lot.

So, Power Up and Power On—and register today!