Friday, April 28, 2017
1 PM – 2 PM ET
Transforming the Educational Ecosystem: A Futures Culture
Guests: Rick Smyre and June Holley
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In our constantly changing, interdependent, interconnected and increasingly complex social and economic environments, students and educators need new ways to prepare for their roles in careers and communities. Recognizing patterns, building networks and responding to weak signals will be essential.
Rick Smyre is an internationally recognized futurist specializing in the area of preparing local communities for a different kind of future. A graduate of Davidson College and NC State University, he is President of the Center for Communities of the Future and is an architect of the new field of "comprehensive community transformation." Mr. Smyre is the past Chairman of the Board of the American Association of Retirement Communities and was on the staff of the National Economic Development Institute for thirteen years. In 2016, he co-authored a book, “Preparing for a World That Doesn’t Exist – Yet,” about COTF ideas and methods.
Mr. Smyre has spoken at the last twenty-three World Future Society Conferences (most recently in Washington, DC in July, 2016), Heart of North Texas Conference. Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde University’s Tallking-Thinking Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the National Computer Ethics Conference at the Brookings Institute in DC, and a national Canadian economic development conference in Toronto. Mr. Smyre has keynoted the National Millennium Communities Conference in Houston for the US Institute of Justice; the national Future Trends Business Marketing Conference in Miami; the National Council for Resource Development in Washington, DC; the North Carolina Community College System; the International Economic Development Council’s Conference; the Illinois State Association of Community College Administrators; the Mid West Economic Development Commission Conference in Minnesota, Scotland Tomorrow in Glasgow, Scotland; the state of Maine’s Economic Development Symposium, and Leadership Iowa. Mr. Smyre is now facilitating multiple networks around the emerging ideas of Comprehensive Community Transformation, a Creative Molecular Economy and a Future Forward College.
June Holley has been weaving economic and community networks for more than 25 years. In 1981 she discovered complexity science and became intrigued with the process of transformation. How could communities change in ways that would make them good places for everyone? With others in Appalachian Ohio, she catalyzed cascades of experimentation, observing and documenting the dynamics that enabled many hundreds of people to start and then expand businesses. With these entrepreneurs, she mobilized dozens of area organizations to collaborate, self-organize and create an environment that would help these businesses innovate and work together.
After twenty years as executive director of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, she stepped down to devote her energies to helping communities around the globe form Smart Networks by training and supporting Network Weavers. She helped clients use Smart Network Analyzer social network mapping software to understand and enhance their networks. Her recent Smart Networks projects have involved communities, regions, statewide collaborations, healthcare and hospital systems, and national learning and innovation networks. She is highly regarded as a dynamic keynote speaker and has led hundreds of interactive workshops on applying a network approach.
During 2013, June shifted her energies to supporting the infrastructure needed so that network and self-organizing strategies can expand rapidly world-wide. She is creating forums to develop more consultants and leadership organizations; developing partnerships with foundations and other organizations; writing and organizing content for the field, and initiating network weaver training and communities of practice opportunities. She is the author of The Network Weaver Handbook.