From Real-Time to Future Focus: A Conversation with Futurist Eric Meade

Eric Meade is an award-winning author of two books (Reframing Poverty and Whole Mind Facilitation) and a nationally recognized facilitator who "stands outside of time" to help groups see their current issues in a longer-term perspective. This week, we reflect on history, how living in this time feels, and we touch on how the past can help prepare us for the future.

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Eric Meade is a futurist. That’s what he calls himself. But when you get him talking about it, it becomes clear all too quickly that this work as a futurist is far more rooted in the past and present than the actual future.

“In college I studied history, so I think I probably just have an inherently long-term perspective looking both ways,” he says. “That has advantages and disadvantages. One is, I quickly adapt to changes in situations that I can point to precedents for.”

If there was ever a time to thoroughly examine precedent, it is right now.

Today’s show is all about grounding our reality here and now in the footprints of our mothers and fathers, and those of their mothers and fathers before them. Politics, public discourse, and the pandemic? They each have roots in modern history of our planet and that history provides a frame through which we are able to press forward.

Today, that frame is caked with misinformation, mistrust, and misunderstanding. But we have missions to serve and causes to advance. The more quickly we can cleanse ourselves of recent history and rebuild trust and understanding, the more quickly we can get back to doing the work our constituencies count on us to deliver.

That’s why Eric Meade is with us today; his grounding as a historian and futurist, his award-winning authorship of two perspective-changing books, and his work as an organizational facilitator all help us to reframe current issues in a deep well of perspective. We’re thrilled to welcome Eric to the show and deeply grateful for contributions to this work.

Links & Notes

In season three of Mission Forward, Carrie Fox welcomes Natalie S. Burke explore the state of our collective health in the wake of the pandemic and what's necessary to bring us back together. They talk with experts, truth tellers, and firebrands who work and move among us to see what lies at the intersections of identity, value, and power.

Natalie S. Burke

A nationally-known speaker, “equity evangelist,” strategist, master facilitator, and public health leader, Natalie provides executive leadership for CommonHealth ACTION whose mission is to develop people and organizations to produce health through equitable policies, programs, and practices. Natalie joins Carrie as co-host for Season 3 of Mission Forward.


Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.