Building the Future: Economic Development in a Fast-Changing World

Futurist Jack Uldrich

A best-selling author and urban futurist shares his insights on future trends in economic development and urban planning at events throughout the country this month.

​Artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, the sharing economy, rapidly advancing construction tools, and the internet of things--these are just a few of the trends and technologies that will impact the future of cities and metropolitan regions, according to futurist Jack Uldrich.

Yesterday, Uldrich gave the keynote address at the Tri-State Business and Innovation Summit held at John Wood Community College. In his presentation, he shared insights on how these advancements will change everyday life in the very near future, and how leaders in economic development can better position their communities for a future that looks very different than the world today. 

It is becoming increasingly apparent that futurists who focus on urban trends, like Uldrich, can be a valuable resource; helping city officials and planners spot emerging opportunities created by technology, as well as changes that may present some challenges. 

More cities and economic development agencies are starting to hire futurists, and it makes good sense. City planners are often so bogged down with what is happening right now that they don't always have the time to take a deep dive into the technological advances that will impact the future.

Jack Uldrich, Futurist & Founder of the School of Unlearning

Uldrich says, "More cities and economic development agencies are starting to hire futurists, and it makes good sense. City planners are often so bogged down with what is happening right now they don't always have the time to take a deep dive into the technological advances that will impact the future."

When it comes to city planning, he says, "The recent upswing in the sharing economy alone is changing the shape of city economies everywhere," says Uldrich. "Think: Uber and Airbnb. What will the next big trend in collaborative consumption be? Will urban farming impact local grocers? My prediction is it will. Just as MOOCs, (Massive Open On-line Courses) will affect higher education, and the cities where universities, colleges, and community colleges are situated."

Uldrich encourages his economic development and urban planning clients to be aware of the emerging trends that will continue to radically shift both urban and rural cultures, and shares specific actions that they can begin taking right away to be better prepared to the changes these trends and technologies will bring. 

Uldrich is a frequent speaker on economic development and urban planning. Earlier this month he joined famed urbanist Richard Florida at the Conference on Housing & Economic Development, held in Boise, ID. Today he will will speaking to leaders in a variety of industries at the Vistage Urban Planning Meeting. On March 22, Uldrich will be in Portland, OR to speak about future trends in urban design with the Design-Build Institute of America. Uldrich's last presentation this month will be in Philadelphia, PA to share his insights with NAI Global, a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm. 

Uldrich has addressed the US Chamber of Commerce, The Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, The Future of North Carolina Forum, the Downtown Council of Minneapolis, the Savannah Economic Development Agency, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, the City of Glendora, CA, the Miami Downtown Development Agency, and the Urban Land Institute.

More information about Uldrich, his upcoming engagements, and his writing can be found on his website, JackUldrich.com

Source: Jack Uldrich & The School of Unlearning