One of the hallmarks of Glen Hiemstra’s senior year as ASWC president, in 1971, was the effort he and other student leaders made to reach out to the Spokane community. He began the year by challenging the student body to “live in Christ and to live out into the community.” During the year, students worked to show Spokane that Whitworth was not a Bible college or a junior college, as it often was perceived, but an institution that cared about “life beyond a supposedly secluded cluster of pine trees,” as described by student John Gaskell, ’72, in The Whitworthian. That spring, students hosted the UNFAIR, a three-day extravaganza that invited the Spokane community to campus to enjoy amusement rides, exhibits, ecological displays and, most notably, a concert by the popular singing group The Association.
Hiemstra was a forward-thinker then, and he pursued a career path that led him to become one of the nation’s leading futurists, following in the footsteps of his mentor in the field, Whitworth President Ed Lindaman. Hiemstra is the founder and owner of Futurist.com, a company that disseminates information about the future to assist individuals, organizations and industries in effective strategic planning.
A national keynote speaker and consultant, Hiemstra has advised government agencies and leading companies on strategic and future planning; his clients have included Microsoft, Boeing, Adobe, and Proctor & Gamble, among dozens of others. His areas of expertise include identifying trends in the economy, demographics, energy, the environment, communications, and housing and transportation, and he uses these trends to show his audiences opportunities to shape their own futures.
Hiemstra has also worked as a media technical advisor on several television productions, including those from Steven Bochco Productions (Bochco is the creator of Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue). Before Heimstra’s career as a futurist, he was an award-winning educator, and he served as a visiting scholar at the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington, where he assisted with work on virtual and augmented-reality technology.
After earning his degree from Whitworth, Heimstra studied at the University of Oregon and the University of Washington. He returned to Whitworth in 2012 to present a discussion about Whitworth in the 1970s, as part of Whitworth’s Heritage Month celebrating the Lindaman era.