Another report on my keynote for 4,000 at the annual meeting of the National Parks & Recreation Association, putting into a concise summary the key trends that I covered (from the Parks & Rec monthly magazine).
“… a solid turn-out of nearly 6,000 park professionals and advocates made the 45th edition of Congress a resounding success. …. The theme, “Looking to the Future,” permeated nearly every facet of the event held at the Salt Center Convention Center.
In keeping with the Congress theme, Looking to the Future, opening session keynote speaker Jim Carroll did not disappoint. The Canada-based futurist built his address around key themes and issues likely to confront the field of parks and recreation in the next 10 to 15 years.
Carroll encouraged the packed convention hall to think in terms of transformation.
Other trends Carroll advised attendees to be aware of included:
- healthcare (we’ll be treated for the conditions we’re likely to have before they set in)
- hyper connectivity (mapping, body sensors, and sports equipment)
- Next-Gen re-engagement
- fragmentation (the result of a faster, more connected world that will shape sports, recreation, and hobbies)
- re-defined communities (society’s big problems will be solved locally)
- water/energy/environmental conservation issues
- demographics (think baseball diamonds that evolve into cricket pitches)
- workforce trends (Gen Y has a radically different set of job expectations than its predecessors)
- gaps in expectations (expect a disconnect between what the public wants and what it can afford)
If someone today were to ask me what the most challenging trend will be for first-world nations to deal with — it would have to the last issue.
I’ve got a lot to write and say about the “expectation gap” issue, and have been covering this in dozens of speeches over the last while.
The “expectation gap” is a trend that will define both the opportunity for innovation, as well as distinct perils for standards of living should it not be carefully managed. And to a huge degree, it relates to the political and social maturity that a country can display as it tries to deal with and manage the gap.
More to come!