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Strategic Plan

Conexus Indiana
Economic Strategy

Conexus Indiana is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to developing the advanced manufacturing and logistics organization in Indiana.

Heading into its eleventh year, Conexus had hired a new CEO (formerly the COO of Angie’s List) with a bold new vision for the organization. The organization’s role in workforce development was uncertain - although they had created several important programs, other organizations were more clearly positioned to lead that work. Meanwhile, new issues related to industry 4.0 were arising and no organization was stepping up to help companies prepare. Furthermore, the Conexus Industry Councils had significant accomplishments, but were in need of a new focus for future impact.

Our Approach

Fourth Economy Consulting facilitated a five-month strategic planning process during which we:

  1. Conducted a deep dive into the data to understand the future of the advanced manufacturing and logistics industry, and, in particular, the impact that automation may have on the industry.

  2. Facilitated human-centered design sessions with key stakeholders throughout the state, as well as the Industry Councils, to develop ideas on how Conexus could best support the industry. This was done in partnership with SmallBox.

  3. Worked closely with a Steering Committee, the CEO, and staff to develop, vet, and refine recommendations for the future of the organization.

The Results

The final plan articulated clear goals and initiatives around four strategic pillars: Talent Continuum, Industry 4.0, Image and Awareness, and Networked Community. The plan has already helped Conexus secure support from philanthropic and governmental partners. It also allowed the leadership team to clearly define the next senior staff hires that were needed to implement the plan and allowed the organization to attract top talent for those roles. In late 2019, Conexus engaged our team to further explore the manufacturing-related innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This analysis identified a handful of gaps that are holding back start-up and scale-up manufacturers. As an outcome of our work, Conexus Indiana has awarded Manufacturing Readiness Grants to assist manufacturers planning to make innovative capital investments in smart manufacturing. To date, 169 Manufacturing Readiness Grants, totalling $13.4 M have been made across the state. Additional grants, totalling $20 M are expected by 2023.


Indianapolis, IN

Project Type

Strategic/Business Plan

Client Type




Final Deliverable Design Samples (Click to Enlarge)
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