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Looking Forward 2021(Impact): Executive Summary

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Education & Professional Development |  Futures Research
Dean A West, FASAE



Looking Forward (Impact) 2021 - Global Environmental Scan of the Association Strategy Environment

Looking Forward 2021 is the association sector's leading environmental scan. The 10th Edition of the report is based on data collected from more than 600 trade and professional association CEOs, and other senior executives. These leaders represent thousands of association members from more than 20 industry and professional sectors. It examines relevant differences between trade and professional associations. It highlights differences by association scope - from local to global. Looking Forward 2021 also incorporates a meta-study looking at changes in the association business environment over time. Looking Forward is the association industry's most current, relevant and useful environmental scan. It will give you the evidence-based insight necessary to lead the conversation about your association's future. 

Understand the 61 Environmental Forces in 6 Critical Domains Impacting Association Members

Looking Forward examines 61 different business factors in 6 domains (Information & Technology, Economic, Workforce, Government, Uncertainty, and Global). It provides insight into how the changing business environment influences the needs of association members. Understand how changes in technology and mergers and acquisitions are changing the relationship between members and associations. See how the everything from the overwhelming amount of information to workforce challenges to changes in international treaties impact your members' needs. See how these changes create opportunities for forward-thinking association leaders.

Assess the 61 Different Implications on Association Strategy

The report assesses 61 different implications on association strategy. Virtually every significant strategy currently pursued by trade and professional associations from membership to government affairs is examined. Learn about the underlying challenges facing the understanding of new member audiences and the ability of associations to create a customized value proposition. See how struggles with content strategy impact the entire content value chain. Identify how the changing nature and intensity of is forcing associations to re-think who they work with and why.

Association Laboratory is a nationally-recognized leader in association futures research and environmental scanning. We’ve conducted more than 100 environmental scans across 20 different industry sectors. We produce the nation’s longest running and most comprehensive environmental scan of the association industry, Looking Forward, and we’ve worked with leading associations like the ASAE Foundation and the PCMA Foundation on scans of key domains within the association sector.



Dean A West, FASAE's Profile

Dean A West, FASAE Related Seminars and Products


Association Laboratory

Dean West is the founder and President of Association Laboratory Inc. He leads client engagements and is a frequent speaker and facilitator for national and global association leadership meetings.

Mr. West is a former association executive with experience as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for both national and international membership organizations. He has been a consultant to the association community since 1992, and has provided services to hundreds of state, national, and international organizations.

Dean West is a nationally recognized expert in association management. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives. Mr. West authored the chapter on Membership Research for the ASAE book, Membership Essentials and the chapter on Marketing Professional Development Programs in the ASAE book, Core Competencies in Professional Development.

Mr. West is an experienced volunteer leader familiar with the demands of volunteer leadership. He is Past Chairman of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and has served on the ASAE Membership Council and the Editorial Board for the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership Journal of Association Leadership. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.