Considering the world’s dramatic and accelerating pace of change, what lies ahead for the members, boards and staffs of business-led economic and civic organizations? How will chambers adapt and evolve over the next decade, and how will they ensure that their best days are yet to come? These questions arise whenever two or more chamber leaders meet. The quest for answers or a context for predicting our future is part of every ACCE meeting, as well as a mainstay of our daily conversations with members.
In 2014 ACCE launched a group with an admittedly aspirational name, the Horizon Initiative Task Force, to tap into collective chamber wisdom and other resources to predict what your life will be like in 2025. After some false starts and refocusing, we realized that our goal was not to tell you what chambers would do or be in 2025; we sought instead to identify influences and how they might shape chambers and their regions.
No doubt there are countless factors that will influence chambers, communities and economies in the next decade, but we chose eight that the Task Force believed would have huge impacts on chambers of every stripe.
We believe the influences described here are real and that they will affect you and your community significantly whether your economy is good or bad, and whether your local politics are ugly or pretty. Government, business leaders and citizens will have to address these factors, which means chambers will too. ACCE’s long-term goal is to help business-led, economic-civic entities of every size and type thrive in a world shaped by these oncoming pressures and opportunities. This crowd-sourced study is the start, not the end, of that effort.
Members of the Horizon Task Force, the ACCE Board of Directors and a score of others helped interpret information, share their own realities, articulate ideas and write this document. ACCE staff relied on trend data provided by members, but contributors made bold assumptions, many of which our readers will challenge—and that’s the idea. The value of this paper lies in its potential to get you to develop your own ideas about the role of your organization in the future.
So, the Task Force—actually all chambers and our nation itself—need your reactions, your thoughts. We established a Chambers 2025 feedback website at www.acce.org/2025. Have at it!
Download this article: Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025 (1)