An endowment from Bruce and Muriel Hach has launched the Hach Center for Regional Engagement in Northern Colorado. BizWest/Ken Amundson

Northern Colorado invited to select the future it wants

FORT COLLINS — The question for Northern Colorado’s future might be, to draw from popular culture, whether it will more closely resemble the Hunger Games or Star Trek.

That’s what Trista Harris, a self-described philanthropic futurist, told about 300 people convened by the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado to launch the new Hach Center for Regional Engagement.

The Hach Center, built on a $1 million endowment from Bruce and Muriel Hach of Loveland, will be the vehicle that the foundation will use to engage with community leaders and residents of Northern Colorado — both in Larimer and Weld counties. The mission: to figure out what residents want for the future of the region, and how to get there.

“A lot of what we love about Northern Colorado didn’t just happen. This was the result of work of previous generations. Great communities are products of great intentionalities,” said Ray Caraway, CEO of the community foundation, in introducing the concept of the Hach Center.

“What if we could do an even better job of dreaming and planning for the future of Northern Colorado?  What if we could reach across I-25 to bridge the gap between Larimer and Weld counties, helping people build consensus on regional issues like water that require regional solutions,” Caraway asked.

“What if we could engage more young people, helping to build the next generation of community leaders,” asked Ella Fahrlander, chief engagement officer for the foundation.

Fahrlander and Caraway ticked off several attributes that are now possible because of the creation of the Hach Center. The key to the future, however, is first figuring out what people want, and then finding the means to get there, using regional collaboration.

“Starting today,” Caraway said, the Hach Center will be the “permanent resource” for the region to build a future that people want.

Trista Harris, author of “Future Good. How to Use Futurism to Save the World,” outlined three steps to achieving the future that people want.

Trista Harris, author of a book on philanthropic futurism, spoke at the launch of the Hach Center. Courtesy Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.
  1. “Stop loving the problem,” she said. “Stop making the problem the guest of honor at events. Imagine what the world would look like if the problem you have is solved.”
  2. Look for signs that provide hints about the future. “Spend 5 percent of your time on research and development. What might the future look like. Who is moving toward that future.” 
  3. Go, get started. “Solutions need to be faster to get in front of the future trends. Implement new ideas. Try out ideas. Then share what you learn. You can’t be afraid of failure.”

Harris said Northern Colorado will be affected by several trends, because the entire country will also experience them.

Schools will need to change, because they’re built around an agricultural schedule that no longer makes sense. 

People will live in broader megaregions — where they live in one area and work in another

Transportation — such as the Hyperloop promoted by Tesla to transport people or freight at 800 miles per hour or the plan that Uber plans to launch next year to provide aerial taxi services — will transform how people move around.

As a result of transportation changes, more people will migrate to rural settings to live.

And people as a result of technology, robotics and artificial intelligence will move from 40-hour work weeks to 20 hours, which will then change how people are compensated for their work. 

“But we get to decide,” she said. “Do we have a Hunger Games future or a Star Trek future.”

The Hach Center, Caraway projected, will help the region figure out these issues “for the next 100 years.”

 

FORT COLLINS — The question for Northern Colorado’s future might be, to draw from popular culture, whether it will more closely resemble the Hunger Games or Star Trek.

That’s what Trista Harris, a self-described philanthropic futurist, told about 300 people convened by the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado to launch the new Hach Center for Regional Engagement.

The Hach Center, built on a $1 million endowment from Bruce and Muriel Hach of Loveland, will be the vehicle that the foundation will use to engage with community leaders and residents of Northern Colorado — both in Larimer and Weld counties. The mission: to figure out what residents want for the future of the region, and how to get there.

“A lot of what we love about Northern Colorado didn’t just happen. This was the result of work of previous generations. Great communities are products of great intentionalities,” said Ray Caraway, CEO of the community foundation, in introducing the concept of the Hach Center.

“What if we could do an even better job of dreaming and planning for the future of Northern Colorado?  What if we could reach across I-25 to bridge the gap between Larimer and Weld counties, helping people build consensus on regional issues like water that require regional solutions,” Caraway asked.

“What if we could engage more young people, helping to build the next generation of community leaders,” asked Ella Fahrlander, chief engagement officer for the foundation.

Fahrlander and Caraway ticked off several attributes that are now possible because of the creation of the Hach…