The Bay Area Community Council is the leading organization in engaging community leaders in understanding and shaping the future of the greater Green Bay area.
President's Message
Dave Wegge

The COVID-19 Pandemic Raises Critical Questions for Our Future

As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is interesting to note the language that is being used to speak of the new era that we are entering. A couple of items have particularly struck me. I have heard several people saying, “I can’t wait until we get through the COVID pandemic and return to normal.” While I am not a soothsayer about the future, I believe thinking about the past year as an “event” and looking forward to returning to “normal” may not be what is in store for us in the future. There are a number of questions that our experiences from the past year have raised for us.

Perhaps there are two critical questions: "Do we see the COVID-19 pandemic as an event?" and "Is COVID-19 part of an era in which we will see an increasing number of pandemics that challenge us in the future?" 

In October 2020 Elsevier, a global organization that “…helps researchers and health care professional advance science and improve health outcomes for the benefit of society,” published a report based on the views of an expert panel assessing the origin, impact, and possible preventive measures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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BACC encourages participation in 2021 LIFE Study

Brown County is in the midst of the quinquennial LIFE (Leading Indicators for Excellence) Study and all members of our community are invited to participate in the survey.  The LIFE Study evaluates the community from a variety of angles through both public perception and evidence-based research. Following the 2011 and 2016 LIFE Study reports, the 2021 LIFE Study continues to build a base of knowledge about our community and measure progress over time so that we as a community can fill gaps, find solutions, and build on successes.

Amber Paluch, Vice President of Community Engagement, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, recently wrote about the Study, "...And you will see the results. The report will be available to the community once completed, and initiatives to address gaps and support needs will result from this work. You’ve seen results of previous LIFE Study work, maybe without realizing it. These studies were the catalysts for community initiatives around mental health needs, child abuse and neglect, support of young girls, poverty reduction and more. Funders use the data to consider priorities for financial support. Government efforts focus on the needs and issues identified in this work...."

In addition to Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Brown County United Way is a funding partner for the LIFE Study.

BACC Board member Jamie Lynch, Director of the Strategic Research Institute, St. Norbert College, is intimately involved in the project. The Institute is conducting the survey for the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. There is a historical relationship between the LIFE Study and BACC; BACC has performed research and conducted community conferences that were driven by earlier studies. BACC strongly encourages all to participate in the LIFE Study, which is a significant planning document for area leaders in education, government, for profit, and not for profit industries. BACC recognizes that the Study is a significant tool in foresight analysis; the conclusions of the Study provide important signals of current local trends. Smart planning based on such trends will make will help make our community thrive for years to come.

Please complete the survey as soon as possible; it will not be available too much longer.


Recent news stories, articles, books, videos, Websites or venues of interest to the BACC supporters and newsletter readers, recommend by the BACC staff and directors. Also community events of interest to the BACC supporters.

The book offers a quick overview of the future of several topical areas such as the future of shopping, advertising, entertainment, education, health care, technology, food, finance, and longevity. See review in Inside Higher Ed.

Isaacson, Walter. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. Pymble, NSW: Simon & Schuster Australia, 2021.
The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies. After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. It is reviewed in The Harvard Crimson.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. Under a White Sky: the Nature of the Future. Crown, 2021.
This new book from the Pulitzer Prize Winner (for The Sixth Extinction) is reviewed in Science News. Global warming, invasive species and more-- "our ingenuity got us into this mess; can the same ingenuity get us out?" Carbon sequestration, gene drives, and other techniques on the horizon are explored in this overview.