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Drivers of Change: A Look at the Trends Shaping the Futures of 2035

Most people, when they think about the future, envision a world that is much like today, perhaps with some slight changes in technology and fashion. At Refuturing, we call these Hand-Me-Down Futures. The truth is, the futures are always multiple, simultaneous, and unevenly distributed. Focusing on technology alone leads to many leaders being blindsided by the sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic, changes shaping our world. So how should we think about futures in order to best prepare ourselves, our institutions and our communities for the possibilities ahead?

In this talk, futurist Dr. Christopher Rice will take you through the key Drivers, Trends and Signals (demographic, housing, food, technology, economics, health, environment & climate, communications and more) shaping our world through 2035, help you look at the world through the lens of strategic foresight, and provide strategic takeaways for thinking through the implications for your organization and community.

“The SPEDA organization was honored to have Dr. Rice present to our annual directors meeting. As an organizations that prides itself on being innovative, growth oriented and bold; we were excited to see and hear the tremendous presentation made by Chris. His in-depth study of the facts across the nation and world and then implementing them into anticipated trends coming in the social, political, environmental and economic landscape is astounding. Anyone who is looking to get their organization ahead and would benefit greatly from Dr. Rice’s study and work. We highly recommend.”

Chris Girdler, President & CEO, SPEDA

Short Bio

Christopher S. Rice, Ph.D. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Refuturing, where he leads foresight, strategy and research activities. As a futurist, Christopher has worked with leaders in business, community and government for over 25 years to rethink unspoken assumptions, reframe problems and challenges, reimagine possible futures and develop actionable strategies to achieve them. Christopher writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics at the intersections of strategic foresight, sustainable community development, education, culture and technology. He will also, if given the opportunity, talk your ear off about bourbon and the craft of songwriting. A Kentuckian born and raised, Christopher currently resides in the weirdly futuristic city of Austin, TX.

Long Bio

Christopher S. Rice, Ph.D. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Refuturing, where he leads foresight, strategy and research activities. As a consulting futurist, Chris’ work over the last 25+ years has explored the intersections of society, technology, economics, the environment and politics. During his career, Chris has worked with clients in community development, higher education, industry & professional associations, and government to rethink unspoken assumptions, reframe problems and challenges, reimagine possible futures and develop actionable strategies to achieve them. He writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics, including sustainable community development, higher education, strategic foresight trends and methods, and culture & technology.

Chris has been privileged to serve clients like Salesforce, University of California San Diego, Arizona State University, the Kentucky Primary Care Association, Texas A&M University, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority, Maryville University, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives, Jerry Brown’s Oakland mayoral campaign, the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development and more.

Prior to founding Refuturing, Chris was the Director of Digital Learning Design & Analytics with the Institute for Transformational Learning at the University of Texas System, and a Partner with Experience Design Works. Chris spent over a decade at the University of Kentucky championing learning innovation and student success as Associate Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), an Enterprise Architect with UK Analytics & Technologies, Social Technology Strategist for Undergraduate Education, and as a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science. He began his career in sustainable community development in Appalachia as Research Director of the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center and Program Director for the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development.

Chris holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and children, an aging hound dog and a surly ginger cat.

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