Words create worlds.
Erin Ehsani, Writer + Futurist
I’m a writer, teacher, and futurist who believes in radical hope at the end of the world, and at the beginning of a new one. My work explores real life dystopias and considers what we can learn from people who’ve already lived through the apocalypse. As we are realizing in this age of rapid climate change, diversity benefits all systems, whether microbiota, ecological, or human.
Innovation often arises from the margins, even though marginalized peoples have been written out of the future, just as their contributions have been omitted from history. These omissions create distortions that prevent us from seeing ourselves fully, and keep us attached to stories that impede our growth as a species. Any design toward the future must include a reckoning with the past. I envision a new narrative that’s big enough to hold the truth, however ugly, beautiful, painful, and complicated it is.
I have designed and taught theme-based first year writing courses focused on Writing the Self/Other; Technology, Culture and Identity; and Futurism, with an emphasis on preparing students for the world they live in and helping them understand the relevance of storytelling in their everyday lives. I believe that stories shape us, and we can write the world we want to see. I’ve also taught creative writing and led writing workshops for formerly incarcerated women through the New York Writers Coalition.
Outside of academia I’ve worked in and around tech startups for many years, crafting stories for products and people, mostly in the world of fintech and security, which is its own strange subculture. I held an executive leadership role at a skunkworks start-up, where I brought R&D technology to the commercial market and helped lead the company to its first round of venture funding. I have also held roles as a director of marketing, product manager, and director of content. My sweet spot is working with individuals and organizations willing to apply an inclusive lens to their mission and bold enough to subvert conventional narratives. Sometimes it works. Other times it’s too early, or risky, to be weird.
My current research and writing interests include memory, trauma, and narrative; intersectional futurism; and the anthropocene. Although I’m currently making things (to be shared in their own good time), I’m available to teach, write, and consult on a limited basis.