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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Forecasting Ohio 2035

A key component of the futuring phase of the VP Conversation strategic foresight project was identifying the most challenging trends and issues, referred to as descriptors, for Ohioans over the next 20 years. Asking the question “What will be the most important and challenging trends and issues for Ohioans by the year 2035?,” more than 500 people contributed more than 1,200 ideas through a participatory approach, designed to engage a wide array of stakeholders both internal and external to The Ohio State University in discussions about the future.

Data were analyzed and resulted in a list of trends and issues (descriptors) that were further vetted by a forum of industry experts, elected officials, community leaders, and futurists tasked with discussing and refining this list. This process resulted in 17 descriptors. Industry experts then studied and researched these trends – ultimately composing a series of research summaries to further articulate the identified trends and issues, also addressing the implications they have for the future. Read the research papers by clicking on any of the descriptor titles listed below.

Another key component to the futuring process, utilizing a thorough review of data outlined in trend research papers written by those industry experts, are thee well-considered views of the future in Ohio, also referred to as scenarios. Scenarios are designed to help us describe how the future may be different from today. Scenarios are a crucial tool for leaders in preparing for the many possibilities that the organization may encounter in the future. To view the scenarios developed to depict three possible futures, see the video posted below.

The committee has also created a flier listing the primary elements from each scenario. The flier can be found here.

OSU Extension Forecasting Research – 17 Descriptors
Overview and Definitions
Alignment of Employee Skills with Job Needs
Climate Change
Crime and Terrorism
Economic and Employment Growth
Educational Access, Attainment and Cost
Energy Sources, Demands and Cost
Environmental and Natural Resources Management
Food Production, Safety and Security
Health and Wellness
Land Use and Geographic Population Distribution
Population Growth, Age Distribution, Immigration, and Diversity
Public Services and Finance
Social Skills, Competencies, and Relationships Across Community and Family Environments
Social, Economic and Political Differences
Technology Change and Adaptation