72. Making the World Better with Storytelling featuring Joe Tankersley

How To Write The Future

Nov 20 2023 • 21 mins

“We're in a time where if we continue to believe only in the negative possibilities, then we won't make the effort to create positive tomorrows.” - Joe Tankersley

In “Episode 72. Making the World Better with Storytelling featuring Joe Tankersley,” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, teacher, and science fiction and fantasy novelist, talks to storyteller and professional futurist, Joe Tankersley, about the importance of positive future stories and the role of storytelling in shaping the future.

Joe shares his own journey as a futurist and storyteller, highlighting the need for diverse and equitable futures. Joe also mentions the concept of "practical utopias" and the potential for communities to experiment with alternative forms of governance, culture, and economic organization. He encourages writers to explore Thrutopian-type stories that offer a middle ground between dystopia and utopia, and to seek inspiration from real-world examples of positive change. Beth and Joe also also talk about the Space Economy Camp for Writers event and offer advice to writers on exploring new ideas and finding inspiration in positive stories.


Joe Tankersley is a storyteller, futurist, and advocate for better tomorrows. Through his work as a professional futurist, he developed his strategic narrative technique that combines the rigor of foresight research with the imaginative spark of story. This unique combination came out of his 20-year career at Walt Disney Imagineering where he served as writer, creative producer, and internal futurist for the company’s elite Blue Sky Studios. As an independent consultant for the past 6 years, he has helped nonprofits, community groups and change makers Imagineer their best tomorrows.

Joe’s fiction and essays have appeared in New Maps, Disruption Magazine, Solutions, Conscious Company Magazine, and the anthologies, After Shock and Aftershocks and Opportunities. His short story “Gabby’s First Kiss,” from Reimagining Our Tomorrows, Making Sure Your Future Doesn’t Suck. (2018) was a winner of the 2021 Extinction Rebellion Solarpunk Story contest.

Joe has served on the board of directors of the Association of Professional Futurists, The Global Futures Forum and the Blue Community Consortium.

Learn more at https://joetankersley.com/


Practopia: https://practopiaproject.com/

Doughnut Economics: https://doughnuteconomics.org/

Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University: https://csi.asu.edu/

Free World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/world-building-resources/

  • SHOW NOTES by Kerry-Ann McDade



Contact Beth: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/podcast/#tve-jump-185b4422580
Email: beth@bethbarany.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethbarany/

EDITED WITH DESCRIPT: https://www.descript.com?lmref=_w1WCA
MUSIC: Uppbeat.io
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