CDA 2030: What can we see?

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Like me, you may find yourself wrestling with a vision statement for your organization and perhaps preparing a strategic plan. Although we (secretly) recognize a futility in predicting the future, we seem never to tire in this uniquely human activity. In fact, when our planning effectively engages stakeholders and is driven by good data, it is remarkably useful and its predictions are more often correct than mere chance would suggest.

On a longer timeframe, if we want to shape the future, rather than allow it to shape us, we should create a vision for that future and support concerted activity to realize that vision. That is also the case for our community. The CDA 2030 Vision Project is an ambitious undertaking to collect and collate broad input that identifies strengths in our community as well as gaps that inhibit progress. Individuals throughout the community have shared their ideas for Coeur d'Alene in 2030; these are being tallied and will contribute to a community-wide vision. Extensive data gathering is under way, including a scientific survey of more than 400 local citizens. In addition to a comprehensive vision for greater Coeur d'Alene, the project will produce a community profile to describe strengths, gaps and opportunities in eight sectors ranging from the economy to public health. Importantly, the project will also complete a detailed implementation plan that will be a roadmap for reaching our vision. All of these resources will be freely available at the project website CDA2030.org.

The project launched in early July. Scores of volunteers have already been involved. Many thanks to survey participants and to those who have contributed ideas and energies to the project. Your efforts will provide data that facilitates planning for organizations and for policy makers in our community. For example, knowing our community's vision of the future is critical for the University of Idaho Coeur d'Alene to provide effective higher educational programming and research support for the region. Our strategies must align with the education, skills and knowledge needs of the community and the vision project work will allow us to more clearly see these needs. Our involvement in the project will allow us to more effectively serve greater Coeur d'Alene. I expect the same will be true for other organizations and for many local businesses.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in CDA 2030: come and be heard! Vision exploration week activities are Oct. 7-11 all around town. Check out CDA2030.org and get involved!

Charles Buck is University of Idaho Associate Vice President for North Idaho.

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