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What will Kiwanis look like in the future?

Brian Tenclinger | Aug 21, 2019

futuristic girl

Remember when the year 2020 sounded so far in the future? Time flies, as they say. It’s almost here. So now it’s time to look ahead again — this time to 2030, ‘40 and ‘50.  

While it’s hard to predict what the future holds, there are trends in the areas of volunteerism, technology, science and education that could help us better understand what a Kiwanis club will look like in several years.

For example, a child born in 2019 will be 31 years old in 2050. That child will have been raised differently than any other generation. Advances in medicine and technology should enhance the body and mind. The child born this year may be educated outside of the traditional brick and mortar school and/or classroom. Online education is predicted to be the norm, and it is anticipated that children will enroll in classes with their peers from around the globe, not just their local neighborhood. The world population is predicted to increase by 30% by the year 2050; however, 1 in 6 people will be 65 years or older. Knowing this, 5/6 of the population will be under the age of 65.

Social scientists and demographers are predicting that advances in technology will make human contact less than it is today. However, the need to belong in a community won’t end. While we may use computers more and more to communicate, it’s human nature to want to be part of something greater than ourselves — such as Kiwanis.  

What does this mean for Kiwanis? It means today’s members should start conversations about their community and the future. It also means today’s Kiwanians need to start examining current club traditions and cultures and adjust to meet a changing demographic.  

When was the last time your Kiwanis members gathered to talk candidly about the future of your community? If we don’t start that conversation today, the year 2050 will be upon us sooner than we think. Kids need Kiwanis — and communities need people who believe in mentoring and providing a healthy environment for children to thrive.  

What you can do now to look toward the future:

  • Invite speakers from your community who work with youth and are charged with looking at the future of the community, such as educators and town planners.
  • Create a task force in your club charged with thinking forward. Ask yourselves: What is our club currently doing that we need to adjust to prepare us for our community in 2030? ’40? ’50?
  • Share what you learn with other Kiwanis clubs. 

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