You know this pattern: Lots of people spend tons of time and money developing a plan. It finishes with a fanfare, then as times passed it is spoken about less frequently. Eventually people forget about the plan. Then work begins on a new plan, because, well, we don’t have one. So, with this post we are trying to add something different to the ADK Futures Project, a review of how we are doing vs the 2011-12 vision – remember the vision?
In 2011-12, the ADK Futures Project ran a series of scenario planning workshops. The desired future was called the Sustainable Life, mixed with tourism and supported by the Forest Preserve. This also turned out to be most attainable among the scenarios, largely because much of it was already underway. The broad alignment supporting the vision was what surprised people. Now it is February 2016. What has happened since July 2012? How does it compare to the desired vision?
We have been collecting data, news items, press releases, reports and such since July 2013 and now have roughly 1000 items. We associate each item to its related event(s). Over time one begins to see trends suggesting what is getting done, and what is not. Some events have lots of news, on other events nothing has happened, and some are clearly never going to happen.
The short conclusion is, wow, we sure are making a lot of progress on a broad range of fronts. Historic expansions of the Forest Preserve have been made. Realignment of the health care system has been done. Building out broadband and cell service is ongoing, making progress each day. The renewal of Champlain Valley farming is gaining momentum. The State and private sector have invested a lot of new money in recreation and tourism facilities. And on and on. It is very impressive, especially given the fact that no one is organizing, coordinating, or leading all this work. It is happening, it seems, with the willing collaboration and distributed effort of many people to get where they collectively want to go. Maybe this is democracy in action in the most positive sense of the word. It is actually quite incredible.
There is too much information for a post. We have written an update that organizes recent developments by theme. For example, Agriculture, Recreation, Energy, Transportation, Arts and Heritage, Healthcare, and more, are each separate topics, where news related to the events used in the 2011-12 workshops has been aggregated and written as a short narrative.
The update is based on data collected, organized and posted here. You can check on the data, follow the links and find out more about the progress we have made. We try to keep ‘evidence’ to things that actually happen; not ongoing debates but how the debates conclude. We try to keep it complete. A grant is made. A project is started, finished or abandoned. The APA makes a decision. Voters pass something. You get the idea. Even with this approach, we already have about 1000 items of evidence. Let us know via email of missing data, including a link to the evidence we should cite. Thanks!
Click here for the PDF file of the update document.