adrienne maree brown: Grief, Future Visioning, and Why People Doing Movement Work Need to Write More Fiction

adrienne maree brown. Photos: Anjali Pinto

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Future vision can be a powerful force for action when it is clearly conveyed and there is a genuine desire to bring it into reality. Today, Ryan Honeyman speaks with writer adrienne maree brown about the compelling and highly-detailed future visions that exist in works of science fiction, speculative fiction, and visionary fiction and how organizations can help articulate those visions into practical frameworks.

adrienne is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute and the author of Grievers, the first novella in a trilogy on the Black Dawn imprint, as well as Holding Change: The Way of Emergent Strategy, Facilitation, and Mediation; We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice; Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good; and Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. She is also the co-editor of Octavias Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements and How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office, and the cohost of the How to Survive the End of the World, Octavia’s Parables, and Emergent Strategy podcasts.

In this episode, adrienne and Ryan also touch on how grieving will allow us to relinquish the systems that harm us, the role that lineages of inspiration play in helping us envision a future free from the constructs that we currently take for granted as our identities, and why adrienne believes that those doing social justice work should write more fiction. Tune in today for all this and more!

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Key Points From This Episode:

  • Learn how adrienne found writing as a tool for social change early on in her life.
  • Why she believes that our evolution as a species is related to our ability to grieve.
  • How to connect with your lineage and view displacement as part of indigenous stories.
  • Using what adrienne calls anti-capitalist time travel to identify lineages of inspiration.
  • The profound recognition that to be free from a physical body is to be free from pain.
  • Opportunities for clear, compelling, and detailed future visions that exist in works of science fiction and speculative fiction.
  • The moment when vision becomes framework and how organizations can articulate that.
  • Why adrienne encourages those who do movement and activism work to write fiction.
  • Storytelling as a core technology of how humanity functions.
  • How listeners can help adrienne build the next economy: make mistakes.

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  • “The better we get at grieving, the more possible it becomes that we can relinquish these systems that are killing us.” — @adriennemaree
  • “[Capitalism] makes you forget where you come from and where you’re going. Everything is about the immediacy and what [you can] accumulate in the immediate moment.” — @adriennemaree
  • “When I imagine [the future], I think we will have abolished a lot of the constructs that we currently take for granted as our identities in those future visions and that will be a component of why we’re able to experience the abundance that I think is coming to us.” — @adriennemaree
  • “I want a lot of people who do movement work to be writing more fiction.” — @adriennemaree
  • “The next economy is one that will come from our ability to be in experiments where we make mistakes. Currently, the landscape for making mistakes feels like a minefield.” — @adriennemaree

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Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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Show Notes + Other Links

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Music by Chris Zabriskie:




Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast.

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Ryan Honeyman

Ryan Honeyman

Partner / Worker-Owner at LIFT Economy. Co-author of “The B Corp Handbook.” Co-host of the Next Economy Now podcast.

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