How do cities prosper in the 4th Industrial Revolution? How can new opportunities advance broad-based prosperity? What is the strategy for cities and regions to create their future?
In Orlando, we are reconceptualizing our future using strategic foresight for a region historically only known for one of its strengths- tourism. This practice has forced us to look at our data-driven realities now and into the future. Leaders have had to grappled with trends and what they mean for a population that will grow to over 5 million people by 2030. Future scenarios have been mapped out and created new opportunities and a framework for the strategy. Maybe even more importantly, this effort has created a new dialogue about the decisions we must make today to create the future we want tomorrow. The process has also brought context to the myriad of innovation approaches companies (see Luminar), governments (see Orlando’s 2050 renewable energy plan), educational institutions (see Valencia College’s accelerated training strategy) and community organizations (see Lift Orlando) have already begun to pursue.
Change happens at the speed of trust. Magic 8 balls don’t have real answers. But, a purposeful process creates a way to bring private business together with government and the independent sector (including education) to democratize the deliberations. Complicated systems can make progress more challenging, but a unified vision to create broad-based prosperity creates an inclusive ethos to keep everyone at the table. A new language can emerge where leaders can talk about the future in real ways.
In just the first 6 months of our new approach, the headlines below tell a story of a region harnessing the future to create new economic opportunities and a stronger community today. A new operating system, common language and a region united behind a big vision may just be the path to create our future.
Many thanks to our partners at Kedge, our world renowned Central Florida strategic foresight firm who facilitated the process!