Thinking Beyond 2020

“What happens in 2020?” It’s our most frequently asked question. Though our community set goals for the year 2020, we all know that the work won’t end when the new decade begins.

Next year, we’ll go back out to the San Antonio community to recap what we’ve done together so far and discuss where we need to go in the future. What are our priorities now? How can we replicate successes? Are there challenges or threats that might affect our progress?

To prepare for those discussions, we explored the future. Okay, we didn’t actually time travel, but we got as close as we could. We partnered with the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF)—a group of actual futurists—to map out San Antonio’s scenarios for human potential through the year 2035.

IAF worked with the Kresge Foundation, a team of 16 national advisors, 37 expert reviewers, and more than 30 local community leaders to understand what human progress, human need, and human services will look like in 2035. The four scenarios they created detail possible outcomes for San Antonio after considering forces, threats, and opportunities that affect local and national human services. These include everything from federal funding cuts to natural disasters, automation to affordable housing policy.

After exhaustively creating the Scenarios, IAF concluded that because San Antonio has a shared vision around which human services are aligned, it is unlikely that we will see a “challenging” future. In fact, thanks to our shared vision and cross-sector collaboration, IAF projects that San Antonio will likely reach a “visionary” future. In other words, because our community has thought intentionally about our future and how to improve it for all San Antonians, we’re better equipped for that future.

You can see the full Scenarios, along with recommendations for the future, in our new report. By thinking critically now about the next 15 years, our entire community—local government, nonprofits, higher ed, corporations—will be better equipped to co-create a visionary future for ourselves.

Let’s continue to work intentionally, strategically, and collaboratively to make life in San Antonio better for the people in it. Our work—as an organization and as a community—won’t end in 2020. We hope you’ll continue to help us shape and plan for the future. We’ll stay in touch; subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear more about our community outreach and next steps.

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