Expecting Climate Migration – to Green Bay!

Steve McCarthy, Executive Director, Envision
Lynn Gerlach, Communication Consultant, Envision

The United States is in the early stages of a great, decades-long transformation. Across the US, nearly half our entire population will likely experience a decline in the environment: prolonged droughts, increasing temperatures, more wildfires, increased flooding due to rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, pressures on agriculture, and species declines, to name a few. Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration — ProPublica

In the Greater Green Bay Area, however, the scenario might be substantially different. Current models suggest that Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region will experience a more moderate, possibly even positive impact, such as an extension of the growing season. Why? It’s largely about the water! Our proximity to the Great Lakes can moderate climate impact, and sustainable access to water will be key to maintaining population levels and quality of life. As all of humanity adapts to the changing climate – with differing levels of success – we might find that the Greater Green Bay area is physically positioned to adapt well, even thrive in the face of climate change. New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States | ProPublica

What does this mean for the future of Green Bay? There’s a good chance people currently living in increasingly distressed parts of the country, such as the desert southwest, will migrate to the Upper Midwest for a safer, more temperate climate and a stable life. With its abundant natural resources and committed community leaders, Green Bay’s star is on the rise. Envision Greater Green Bay and many of the growing number of local leaders trained in strategic foresight are watching now for signals about how climate migration will affect our growth plans. 

Amazing Demo of Strategic Foresight Tools! See Strategic Foresight Thinking Applied to Ukraine

Nan Nelson, Board member

As they watch the war in Ukraine develop, futurists are considering worldwide impacts. What possible futures do the signals point to? Even if you’re not terribly interested in the details of the ongoing war, you will be fascinated by the application of many of the tools we have learned in Strategic Foresight training in this comprehensive presentation. You’ll see practical application of Four Futures, Scenarios, Trends, Causal Layered Analysis and more. This is an intriguing display of the scope and power of the skills and tools you’ve learned, should you continue to sharpen and apply them.


U.S. Government’s own Center for Strategic Foresight

Nan Nelson, Board member

In 2018 the Government Accountability Office established the Center for Strategic Foresight to identify major issues, challenges and opportunities. The latest report on trends affecting government and society provides a strategic plan for lawmakers, including key trends in a dozen areas:

  • National security threats include a rise in violent extremism tied to conspiracy theories and misinformation.
  • Federal debt – increasing federal debt makes a fiscal crisis more likely.
  • Catastrophic biological incidents indicate the need for a more resilient medical chain.
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in society are evident in housing, health and access to voting.
  • Science and technology research and development – public investment is declining.
  • Security issues arise from our increasing reliance on digital technology, and they include vulnerability to cybercrime and other threats.
  • New technologies are changing the U.S. workforce.
  • The Global Supply Chain is suffering disruptions due to the pandemic, trade wars and other global crises.
  • Online learning and technology, increasing in use, present both opportunities and challenges.
  • Evolving health technologies, such as artificial intelligence, yield efficiencies but raise privacy concerns.
  • Critical natural resources – their availability is threatened in an increasingly stressed environment.
  • Space is seeing increased use for national security, commercial and human exploration.

    You can watch a short introductory video here or read the full report here.