Futurist Rebecca Ryan to Speak in Monroe Aug. 21

Free Event Kicks Off UniverCity Year

If you knew the future, what would you do? Run a better business? Build a smarter city? Leave your competition in the dust?

Those are some of the questions world-renowned futurist and economist Rebecca Ryan poses as she inspires audiences to get future-ready. She’ll bring her fascinating insights and strategic foresight process to Green County to help launch the UniverCity Year in a special free kickoff event Tuesday, Aug. 21. The UniverCity Year program matches University of Wisconsin-Madison courses, students and faculty with the needs and projects of communities. Students will be working on Green County projects starting this fall and continuing through spring semester 2019.

Known as the “human spark plug,” Ryan motivates community members and business owners alike to chart their path based on the future, not the past. She’s the spark to help us make informed decisions about how to plan our communities and rebuild our systems. When Ryan last spoke in Green County in 2008, she provided the spark that powered initiatives like the Young Professionals of Green County and Future Forward! Green County.

Everyone Will Benefit From Attending

If you lead a community or an organization, you need to attend Ryan’s presentation. Most of our community and organizational documents are based on what’s always been done – the tried and true. But we don’t live in the past.

Think of it this way: You wouldn’t drive your car across the country in reverse looking through your rearview mirror. But that’s what we do with our plans – we base them on the past instead of the future. Attend Ryan’s talk and discover how your planning can be less history-oriented and more future-oriented.

Business owners are strongly encouraged to invite their leadership and up-and-coming employees. This is a great opportunity for professional development that’s free, convenient and will show results. It promises to be a great first step to engage your key people in thinking differently about the future and developing an exciting, future-focused plan.

Millenials are especially encouraged to attend and learn how they can help the community and their employers imagine the future and identify opportunities so they can be ready for them.


The event begins at 4 p.m. in the M-Room of the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center with a work session for community leaders who are directly involved with UniverCity Year projects.

At 4:30 p.m., UniverCity will host an upbeat networking session, complete with light hors d’oeuvres and a visit from Bucky Badger. The UW ice cream truck will also be on hand, scooping up complimentary dishes of Babcock ice cream. This is a great opportunity to meet and share your spark plug ideas with people from across the county.

At 5:30 p.m., attendees will gather in the PAC to learn more about projects UW students will be tackling throughout Green County.

Ryan’s presentation will begin shortly before 6 p.m. and conclude by 7 p.m. She’ll get participants thinking about the future, rather than rehashing the past. Her presentations are innovative and engaging and promise to energize and empower all who attend.

To RSVP for this free event, please call the Green County Development Corporation at (608) 328-9452 or email gcdc@tds.net to ensure you have a seat for Ryan’s presentation.