Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Free Webinar on Forecasting the Future of Vulnerable Populations

I blogged a couple of months ago about a wonderful set of scenarios commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the future of vulnerable populations. Now the RWJ is offering a free webinar to enable readers to explore these potential futures.

Besides being great examples of how to write compelling stories of the future, these scenarios about vulnerable populations are directly relevant to the communities we serve. Americans are contending with the steepest unemployment rates since the 1960s. A Rockefeller Foundation study estimated that in 2009, 20% of households lost 25 percent or more of their income.

As the RWJ Foundation observes, "with vulnerable populations facing such challenging circumstances, we need to think about the forces today that will shape the future of vulnerability tomorrow. What will vulnerability in America look like in 2030? How will key economic, policy, social, enironmental and other factors evolve over the next two decades? Can we envision the different ways in which the future might unfold, and the kind of actions we might take today that could most effectively improve the health and well being of vulnerable people across a variety of different future conditions?"

Speakers will be Jane Lowe,Team Director for the Vulnerable Populations Portfolio, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Clement Bezold, Founder and Chairman, Institute for Alternative Futures; and Ron Haskins, Co-Director, Center for Children and Families, Brookings Institution. Participants will explore the scenarios (expected, bright and dark futures) and engage in Q&A with the speakers.

The webinar is being offered twice--on March 22 and April 12, 2011. Registration is free, but limited, so jump in soon. After I attend the March 22 session, I will report back, and solicit your input on what this mean for our museums and their communities. Hope to "see" you at the webinar!

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