Your Guide to the Strategic Framework

This is part of our guide series to Shaping Our Future: A Strategic Framework for Texas. The Strategic Framework provides in-depth, cross-cutting data to inform key decisions about the most significant issues facing the state.

I’ve tried to explain to my seven grandsons if you get on the highway, it helps if you know you’re going to Oklahoma City or Laredo. You ought to at least know directionally which way you’re heading or you’ll never get there.” Tom Luce, Texas 2036 founder and chairman

In pursuit of a vibrant future for Texas, Texas 2036 developed the Strategic Framework rooted in a commitment to tackle the most pressing issues our state faces in the best way we know how: the “Texas way.” 

The Strategic Framework came through frustration in dealing with what our founder Tom Luce called “silos of policy and advocacy,” which occur when entities advocate for one policy area but lose the connections between all policy areas that make us successful. 

It’s helpful to have both a strategic view as to how to tackle the biggest issues and do it with a strategic allocation of resources. 

When the state government passes a biennial budget of more than $250 billion, the strategic question for it and the public and any enterprise is, “How well did we allocate scarce resources?” Unlike the federal government, the state of Texas must balance its budget and cannot print money.

So, how do you keep Texas the best place to live and work when our state is projected to add nearly 10 million more people between now and our bicentennial? You ask the important questions, you gather the data and you embark on a comprehensive long-term planning process, which has the potential to achieve systemic, incremental change. 

Texas 2036 developed its Strategic Framework with the hope and belief that policymakers and the public can come to make the necessary changes. 

To build the original strategic Framework, Texas 2036 first reviewed more than 100 public datasets. It then created a framework and an interactive dashboard for policymakers, the public, media and stakeholders to see how Texas stacks up.

In this second edition of the Framework, we lay out 36 ambitious but achievable goals, slightly revised from the first edition, for the future of Texas across six policy pillars. We incorporate more than 150 indicators that can help evaluate Texas’ progress toward these goals. Collectively, the goals represent an interconnected set of priorities that can guide the way forward. This wide-lens perspective sets Texas 2036 apart as an organization. We are not focused on a single issue or silo, but rather on looking at the numerous interconnections between our policy areas. 

The numerous, detailed indicators speak to the very heart of Texas 2036. We are informed by the facts — we do not shy away from what the data tells us. Texas 2036 has assembled hundreds of datasets to inform and shape this work, and fealty to data is an important differentiator of our work. Comprehensive and relevant data can break down party lines to unify Texans seeking pragmatic solutions. Today, we have sufficient data to help us plan for the future. In the coming years, we will work with state and local governments and other stakeholders to improve the quality of data available for policymakers, ensuring decisions are being made with the most meaningful and telling information. 

The Strategic Framework allows Texans to see for themselves what the data shows as to how Texas is doing right now on issues important to our future, how we compare to other states and whether we are headed in the right direction.

We invite you to review the Strategic Framework’s goals and indicators and to engage with us in planning and advocating for the future of Texas.