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World Futures Day 2023 takes place in Green Bay

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March 10, 2023

GREEN BAY – The World Futures Day 2023 conference was held March 1, at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay.

The presentation, which was sponsored in part by Envision Greater Green Bay, aimed to encourage area leaders to use strategic foresight techniques to help find and take advantage of trends that are more than three years out.

The main speaker, Thomas Frey, head of the DaVinci Institute in Denver.

Frey touched on various trends in agriculture, currency, education, healthcare, manufacturing, smart cities and transportation.
“Our understanding of the future is constantly changing and evolving – it’s just a snapshot in time,” he said. “I read up to 1,000 headlines a day, but many times, nothing happens with most of those headlines. I pay attention to what’s getting traction and what’s starting to move. Affecting change in the world is extremely difficult.”

Frey said it is a “backward-looking society,” which affects how people look at the future.

“It’s human nature,” he said. “We’ve all experienced the past, so that’s hard to get out of your mind when thinking about the future.”

Frey said his job as a futurist is to give people some idea about what’s coming down the pipe.

“If we change someone’s vision of the future, we change the way they make decisions today,” he said.

Representatives from Envision – Paul Linzmeyer and Tom Schumacher – touched on what the trends mean for Northeast Wisconsin.

“One example is climate trends we’ve seen in the last 30 years,” Schumacher said. “Freshwater levels continue to drop in the west, so there could be a massive explosion in population in the Northeast Wisconsin region in the next few decades because we have the Great Lakes. We must look at these trends and be proactive in our region.”

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