In this fast paced world where our technology and population are growing exponentially, how do we create a thoughtful world? Are there methods or a framework that can help us to have meaningful conversations about where we want to go as a country and as a global civilization? Futurist Rick Smyre believes we are in the second enlightenment as we move from the industrial age into an ecological civilization. The concepts that we build our society on over the last 250 years are needing to shift as we face new challenges and environmental collapse. Join us for an in-depth discussion on how we can move beyond ideas of reformation and engage in transformation of our systems and culture with Rick Symre.

About the Guest:

Rick Smyre is an internationally recognized futurist specializing in the area he helped originate called “community transformation.” A graduate of Davidson College and NC State University, Mr. Smyre has four degrees and is President of the Center for Communities of the Future. Increasingly known for his work as an author of the concept of a Second Enlightenment, he is also an architect of the new field of “molecular leadership.” Mr. Smyre has been on the staff of the National Economic Development Institute for fourteen years.

Married for 44 years to Brownie Allen, Mr. Smyre has three children, Cinda (43), Deric (40), and Beth (37). In the ’70s he was the CEO of a textile yarn spinning firm. As a result of his experience at the local, state and national levels, he understands issues local communities face when preparing for a different kind of economy and society.

Mr. Smyre’s work emphasizes innovative concepts, methods, and techniques connected with the Communities of the Future idea in collaboration with a network of over 1000 individuals in forty-six states and six countries. The focus of this work is to develop “capacities for transformation” in the thinking and activities of citizen leaders in local communities, especially in rural areas. His articles have been published on various web sites, and three essays, Beyond the Deck Chairs, It Is More Than Either/Or, and The Three Triangles of Transformation by the World Future Society’s Future in 1998, 2004 and 2007. Preparing 21st Century Rural Economies is a chapter in Knowledge-Based Economy, published in India in 2006. Two articles on his vision of higher education will be published in June 2008 in the book, Careers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
Mr. Smyre focuses his work in several ways. He speaks internationally and has provided over 300 seminars, keynotes and retreats over the last decade. Of special interest to Mr. Smyre is his work to help local communities prepare for transformational change: 1) as a strategic networker to develop and apply new ideas such as the Second Enlightenment, Transformation Learning and a Creative Molecular Economy, and 2) as a “master capacity builder” to work with local community leaders to help them develop 21st century transformational leadership skills for community transformation.


Communities of the Future

Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist – Yet: Framing a Second Enlightenment to Create Communities of the Future by Rick Smyre & Neil Richardson