In the year 2025
15 Madison leaders spell out their visions for the Capital City.
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From the pages of In Business magazine.
With apologies to Zager and Evans, whose 1969 hit song “In the Year 2525” offered an ominous futuristic warning, we set out to get a more positive take on the year 2025 in Madison. In our look at the Capital City 10 years hence there is nothing shocking to worry about, just visions of what this community can become by the very people who are now shaping its future. — Joe Vanden Plas
Dr. Ruben Anthony, Jr.
Visioning through an equity lens
By 2025, the Greater Madison Area should have taken advantage of the ethnic, social, and economic lessons learned to implement a transformational road map that will lift people of color beyond endemic disparities. Madison will no longer be a place of achievement disparities; it would have figured out how to produce the best students in the nation, regardless of race.
My 2025 vision is for a city that recognizes the true value of diversity and harnesses the regional and economic advantages that come from boldly celebrating these differences. My hope for 2025 is that poverty and unemployment would be viewed through an equity lens and that a rate for black citizens five or six times higher than white citizens is a thing of the past. Madison will be a place where sustainable family wages will be the norm; there will be adequate affordable housing and a fair climate for minority-owned businesses.
In 2025 Madison, “equal access to opportunities” would not be just a catchy phrase, but the order of the day. I envision a more inclusive place that recognizes that when all children and families do well, the community is better off and their race does not matter. In 2025, there would be stronger city and suburban cooperation and an action plan, grounded in reality, to make Madison a “Best” place to live for all citizens.
Dr. Ruben Anthony, Jr. is president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison.
A place to emulate
By 2025, I believe Madison will be widely perceived as a truly distinctive place where quality and appreciation of life, cutting-edge innovation, and incomparable intellectual capital merge to create a community that is highly regarded regionally, nationally, and internationally as an enlightened place to live, work, and play.
Madison will have plans underway (or possibly completed) for a thriving multimodal public transportation system, exceptional public access and spaces along it lakes, a reimagined and flourishing region around the Alliant Energy Center campus, and housing and job infrastructure that supports people of all backgrounds. How will we become a place to emulate?
- Through continued emphasis on collaboration in economic development initiatives.
- Through comprehensive planning and investments in forward-thinking public and private infrastructure to support a diverse population.
- By nurturing the authentic features and elements that make Greater Madison special: our lakes and countryside, our commitment to the health of the whole human, and our Native American and European cultural heritage.
- By building our profile as a destination and attracting dynamic events where ideas are exchanged and where people experience our intellect, personality, and natural beauty.
Deb Archer is president and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Health care haven
The momentum of the Affordable Care Act will translate into numerous changes in the gross economic model of health care delivery. Just as the San Francisco area became synonymous with smart phones, the Midwest will emerge as the global leader in medical innovation because of the large economic expansion of health care technology and service companies based in Madison.
Following in the benevolent footsteps of Epic, numerous solutions will emerge in Madison that solve some of the most vexing problems facing patients, doctors, and communities. Some very attainable predictions:
- Madison leads the nation in the conversion of now-empty hospital floors into community support centers for the mentally ill.
- All physicians, regardless of specialty, are paid a salary.
- MMSD announces an across-the-board 30% raise for all teachers and the hiring of 15% more teachers for the 2025 school year as a result of reduced health insurance costs.
- UW Medical School announces a record number of applications to their primary care residency programs.
- Entitlement reform leads to the most unlikely of outcomes — a 34% net decrease in Medicaid expenditures across the state.
- Not a single child with asthma in the Madison area is admitted to the hospital.
Michael Barbouche is the founder and CEO of Forward Health Group.
Feminine business force
Minority- and women-owned businesses already are showing strength and outperforming all businesses nationally. While inflation-adjusted “sales receipts” dollars decreased for all U.S. and Wisconsin firms (2007–12), they have increased for women- and minority-owned firms.
At the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., our vision around women’s entrepreneurship provides accessible quality business education coupled with accessible capital. Increased collaboration between organizations such as WWBIC and partners like the Doyenne Group could create not just one fund for women but many funds for women in business.
Just 27 years ago, the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 swept away state laws requiring women to have male co-signers on their business loans. In one short generation, women-owned enterprise has exploded into the fasting-growing sector of the U.S. economy. This law also created Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), a national network assisting women entrepreneurs.
Today, the nation’s 1.1 million women-owned firms employ nine million people, and Wisconsin’s 16,500 women-owned firms employ 170,000 workers. WBCs have made an impact and women in the economy are a true force.
In 2025, let’s see Madison lead the way economically through entrepreneurship, which provides local resources and jobs. We need Madison and Wisconsin to take note of the increased formation of many diverse women-owned ventures and see how we can further support this significant, positive economic impact.
Wendy Baumann is president and chief visionary officer for the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.
Taking education higher
Here’s what I envision at UW–Madison 10 years from now:
Our faculty and staff will be even more engaged with the global community while continuing their outreach to our local community and our state in the best tradition of the Wisconsin Idea.
Our Global Health Institute will be linked with projects in multiple countries, with a multidisciplinary approach that tackles issues as diverse as emergency medicine and women in agriculture.
Our students, whether they’re coming fresh from high school or later in life as returning adults, will use a host of new technologies to enhance their studies in ways that fit their unique educational needs. For a sneak peek, check out our Educational Innovation initiatives, which are injecting more active learning opportunities into large introductory lecture courses and helping instructors redesign face-to-face classes to take advantage of online activities.
Cherished campus landmarks like Bascom Hill and the Terrace will be joined by some great new spaces, like the Hamel Music Center. The biomedical complex on the west end of campus will continue to grow as our researchers learn more about how to improve human health and well-being.
Our university may look and feel different than it does today, but here is what won’t change — our standing as a world-class institution and our commitment to teaching students to think critically, communicate powerfully, and use their Badger tenacity to change their world for the better.
Rebecca Blank is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.