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Carbondale Chamber to host futurist speaker

Jeremy Heiman
Carbondale Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Some business owners would give a lot to be able to see the future.

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce 2008 Annual Business Conference, Tuesday, Sept. 23, will offer the next best thing ” a keynote speaker who studies trends that drive the changes that will occur in the future.

Glen Hiemstra, founder and owner of Futurist.com (www.futurist. com), will head up a program called “Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Businesses Need to Know to Shape Their Futures” at the conference. Hiemstra hopes to show attendees how to approach business planning with a long-range view, based on future trends, processes, skills, and models for thinking about and shaping the future.



Randi Lowenthal, executive director of the Carbondale chamber, said the chamber had been in search of a new kind of program for this year’s conference. “We were responding to feedback from previous conferences,” she said. “We had the sense that a lot of changes were happening.” Those changes, for example, include shakeups in the mortgage markets and banking industry.

In the search, they found Hiemstra’s site on the web. Coincidentally, Lowenthal said, Vicki Peterson, owner of Ace Hardware and the chamber board president, heard Hiemstra speak at an Ace Hardware convention.



“She was impressed,” Lowenthal said. The idea of featuring a futurist to speak resonated with chamber members. “We really believe there’s a lot of change in the wind,” Lowenthal said. “We need to look forward, but what does that mean for today?”

The format of the conference will allow the members to discuss issues with the featured speaker, to ask questions specific to their own businesses. Hiemstra will deliver the keynote address and will then guide interactive small-group discussions. One half hour is allotted for each of three round-table discussions, on workforce, housing and transportation.

Lowenthal emphasized the interactive nature of the event.

“We’ll be able to ask him questions like, ‘What does it mean to our businesses?'” Lowenthal said. “If your business is going to be successful, you not only need to understand the kind of changes he’s predicting, but how to adapt to them.

“How to think about the future will be as important a part of the program as the informational aspect,” Lowenthal said. “It’s going to deal with the solution side, and the ‘Now what?’ side of things,” she continued.

According to his website, Hiemstra was educated at Whitworth College, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington. He is a former award-winning professor and serves as a visiting scholar at the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington. He has worked with companies and organizations such as Microsoft, Boeing, Adobe, PaineWebber, Northern Telecom, Home Depot, Weyerhaeuser, Hewlett Packard, Novo Nordisk, Costa Rica Hotel Association, Tulsa 2025, and Federal Highway Administration Advanced Research.

Tickets to the conference are now on sale at the chamber office, 981 Cowen Drive, Suite C, Carbondale, CO 81623, or by telephone, 963-1890. In advance, tickets are $65 for members and $80 for the general public. At the door, the cost will be $80 for members and $90 for the general public. Seating is limited.


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