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.
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