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    Rachel Hatch, futurist and community vitality expert, to keynote regionalism / workforce track

    Rachel Hatch, program officer for community vitality at The McConnell Foundation, will keynote the regionalism / workforce track at Iowa Ideas 2017. Hatch will speak Thursday, September 21 in Cedar Rapids.

    Hatch will bring a unique perspective to Iowa Ideas as a Cedar Falls native who has spent nearly a decade in Northern California, working with some of the world's largest companies to study and act on emerging trends.  

    The McConnell Foundation, which is based out of California, focuses on building better communities through philanthropy and awards money to non-profits, public education agencies and government agencies in Northern California. Hatch is currently concentrating on downtown revitalization in the community of Redding, California.

    She previously served as the research director at the Institute for the Future, a think tank based in Palo Alto, California. She worked with Fortune 100 companies, government groups and philanthropic organizations to focus on trends and disruptions that are likely to influence their work in the next decade.

    “The aim of foresight is to anticipate the future in order to make better decisions in the present,” she said in a reflection about her time with the Institute for the Future.

    Rachel is also co-curator of TEDxRedding, which brings together practical visionaries from the Redding area and beyond to share ideas.

    The Iowa Ideas Conference, Sept. 20-22, will include 80 sessions and more than 250 speakers across eight tracks. The statewide gathering will mix panel discussions, interviews with state leaders and thought-provoking experiences to help move complex issues forward. Iowa Ideas is for anyone: doers, industry leaders, policy makers, lifelong learners and those who want to lead the conversation about the future of our state.

    Other topics to be discussed in the Regionalism / Workforce track include new approaches to workforce development, the impacts of technology on Iowa's employers, the role of immigrants and diverse populations in Iowa's workforce, rural community vitality and regional efforts.

    Iowa Ideas 2017 will kick off Wednesday, September 20, with an opening celebration and keynote address from best-selling author and innovation expert Alec Ross.

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