Case Study

Envision Utah

Economic Planning

Adapting to a rapidly diversifying population and cultural shifts.


Envision Utah has used values research to guide regional visioning and strategic planning for over 20 years. During that time, the state has witnessed massive economic and population growth. Utah’s economy has grown at an annual rate of 3.4%—nearly twice the national average of 1.9%. The strong economy and natural amenities are a powerful magnet for people and families, making Utah one of the fastest growing states in the nation.

Previous work for Envision Utah has taught us that some in the state are not even willing to consider where growth should happen and are more firmly focused on simply stopping growth of any kind—a path that diverts energy and planning and inevitably worsens the impact of growth.


We used our proven approach, including:

– Stakeholder Illumination Labs that engaged regional leaders and influencers to identify key regional priorities and get their feedback on diversity and NIMBYism.

– Exploratory Values and Priorities BrightBoards that allowed us to explore new topics, features, benefits and values driving human choices and priorities relating to growth among residents in the state.

– Utah Values and Priorities Strategic Planning Survey which provided us scientifically projectable results, insights and strategic planning guides for Envision Utah’s regional planning efforts.


Our 1997, 2007, and 2014 studies provided valuable benchmark and tracking data on key attitudes and priorities over the last two decades. This allowed us to better understand changes and trends when compared to our newly gathered 2020 data.

Our work provided Envision Utah with an evidence-based foothold for establishing its regional visioning for Utah. Our values and priorities-based approach to the study revealed underlying issues, attributes and themes that helped them guide public engagement and communications moving into the future.