I sit on the steering committee for The Tomorrow Plan and I’m not an expert in sustainability. In fact, when I was asked to sit on the committee I couldn’t even define what sustainability means. I still can’t define it, and neither can most people.
So how is it that The Tomorrow Plan is now such a strong topic of interest to me? I care about making the best possible future for Greater Des Moines. Wow, talk about sounding cliché!
But it is true.
And whether you like it or not you are part of Greater Des Moines’ Tomorrow Plan also. Everything you do everyday effects the future planning of the region you live in. Where you live, where you work, and where you play are all intertwined and are impacting how Greater Des Moines will be 30 years from now.
You grow up with this mindset that you can focus on one thing at a time and make everything perfect. What I’m now learning is not only is that not possible, but that you have to take a step back and look at it from a much more encompassing level. You forget that while air quality might be the most important thing to you 30 years from now, you are going to have to give up something in several other areas to achieve that. The same goes for the person who wants to focus on public transportation.
It’s an endless give and take cycle. When it comes to a city of 1 million people, you are going to get 1 million different tomorrow plans. I’ve learned that The Tomorrow Plan is not going to be a binder dropped on a desk next year that has all the answers in it. However, it is going to give us a much clearer understanding as to what future impact plans we make today will have.
Shortly, The Tomorrow Plan will be releasing an interactive scenario planning game. The game will give you a chance to explore this give and take firsthand, and to see how different planning alternatives impact what is most important to you.
On April 19th you’ll have the chance to test the model and make your feedback heard at a Tomorrow Plan event tailored to young professionals with the help of the new Young Professionals Advisory Committee. Just a shameless plug until we have more details. 🙂
I’ve learned so much over the past six months and am excited to learn so much more. I don’t want to share what I’ve learned with you and I don’t think I can. Learn it for yourself because what you say today is going to affect your tomorrow. Silence is not always golden.