Steve McCarthy, Envision Executive Director, 2022- March 31, 2023

When I was asked in late 2021 to become Envision Greater Green Bay’s first executive director, I was of course honored. The organization’s mission and vision — centered on expanding strategic foresight throughout the area — is unique in North America. No other organization is attempting this, non-profit or for-profit.

And yet that is precisely what the community needs to help ensure the kind of future we all want, one where Greater Green Bay is a “community of choice” and all that such an identity entails:

  • Supporting and celebrating our growing diversity
  • Actively welcoming people who move back to Green Bay or who’ve chosen the area as their new home
  • Creating reasons for youth to want to stay in Green Bay as they become adults, including investments in education, job training, and recreational programs
  • Expanding ways to reduce our carbon footprint while protecting our abundant natural resources, both land and water
  • Continuing to strengthen the ecosystem that supports startups, entrepreneurs, and other innovative ventures, which will both create new jobs and attract young professionals
  • Growing affordable housing to provide opportunities for all residents to thrive
  • Collaborating with other cities, businesses, and organizations to share knowledge and resources to benefit the community as a whole.

Envision believes that strategic foresight is key to building a community of choice. The discipline provides a proven model for leaders to make better decisions today that will lead to preferred futures, rather than simply reacting to drivers of change in the moment.

Fresh off a pandemic, many of us felt a sense of urgency to accelerate the adoption of strategic foresight. The sooner more people and organizations practice it, the more “future-proofed” the area will be. The whole point of strategic foresight is not to be surprised by what happens.

That message is resonating with a growing number of people and organizations. On March 1, 2022, we held our first World Futures Day event and were delighted that just over 100 leaders attended to hear a London-based futurist talk about four mega-trends. On March 1 of this year, more than 300 attended Envision’s World Futures Day, hearing from renowned futurist Thomas Frey. In 2022 we trained more local leaders in strategic foresight than ever. In 2023 we are already on track to surpass those 2022 totals.

Such facts are signals that point to a thriving future for northeast Wisconsin, as long as the pace of strategic foresight adoption continues to accelerate.

I will miss my many friends and colleagues and partners in mission at Envision Greater Green Bay. As a committed group of community leaders, they are proof that when good people come together around a shared vision they are passionate about, big things happen.