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

Eric Meade is a futurist. That’s what he calls himself, at least. 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

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (01:04) – Introducing Eric Meade
  • (03:44) – What did 2020 teach you? A discussion on “pressing forward” and the mirror of history
  • (12:58) – Sponsor: Audible
  • (13:46) – Purpose & Planning
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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