Meet Rick Smyre
Rick Smyre is an internationally recognized futurist specializing in the area of preparing local communities for a different kind of future.
He is president of the Center for Communities of the Future (COTF) and is an architect of the new field of "comprehensive community transformation." His work emphasizes the idea of preparing communities for a future that “does not exist.” The focus of this work is to develop “capacities for transformation” in the thinking and activities of citizen leaders in local communities. All of his work is based on the idea that traditional thinking and action are increasingly obsolete in a time of fundamental change.
Widely respected for his radical innovations and creativity related to community transformation, Smyre speaks internationally and has provided more than 400 seminars, keynotes and retreats over the last two decades to introduce the "COTF System of Community Transformation" ideas. He has spoken at the last 19 World Future Society Conferences (most recently in Chicago in July 2013) and has been published in numerous web journals, books, and trade journals.
Before founding COTF, Smyre was president of a textile yarn spinning firm, on staff at the national Economic Development Institute, and chairman of the American Association of Retirement Communities. As a result of his experience at the state and local levels, to include chairman of a North Carolina county school board and of a county chamber of commerce, he understands issues local communities face when preparing for a different kind of economy and society.
Smyre lives in North Carolina with his wife of 50 years and has three grown children. He earned a history degree from Davidson College and chemistry and economic degrees from North Carolina State University.