What will LIFE be like in five years?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

LIFE in five years

Contributor: Rachel Podoski, Research and Evaluation Coordinator at United Way Fox Cities

Five years must be a meaningful chunk of time; why else would employers ask potential candidates “where do you see yourself in five years?” Over the course of five years, slightly more than 260 weeks will pass (and you will then be 1,827 days older). The internet also says that half the cells in your body are regenerated every five years – so we know that a lot can change in this time span!

Historically, a report of our community has been released on a quinquennial basis (every five years). The Leading Indicators for Excellence, better known as the LIFE Study, debuted in 2001 and was published in 2006 and 2011. Most recently, in June 2016, the format of the LIFE Study had a makeover when foxcitieslifestudy.org was unveiled. This interactive website holds an abundance of information:

  • 218 indicators,
  • displayed in 167 charts and graphs,
  • contained on 74 web pages,
  • organized into eight categories.

With this new format, the LIFE Study Partner Agencies (United Way Fox Cities, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce) have committed to keeping the LIFE Study more “alive.” This will mean that each data point will be updated at least once per five year cycle. However, it is now possible to spread these changes across the five-year-long interval and to communicate these updates to the community as they happen. This will also mean that the indicators of highest priority (in the topics of poverty, youth health, student performance, and youth safety) will be updated more frequently than they had been in the past. The web-based format also allows us to be flexible and responsive to the potential of incorporating new data to share with the community as appropriate.

By 2021, we will have a brand new LIFE Study, but this time around, the community can expect to be able to watch LIFE as it happens. We hope you will stay tuned!