Elaine Dundon, Philosopher of Meaning, Author of three international best-selling books on Innovation and Meaning, Founder of the Global Meaning Institute.
Elaine Dundon is a Philosopher of Meaning, Bestselling Author, and Founder of the Global Meaning Institute. Her unique background bridges business strategy, brand marketing, and innovation management, along with philosophy, meaning, and metaphysics. Elaine has held senior leadership positions, including brand management at Procter & Gamble. In 2000, she designed and taught the groundbreaking course on Innovation Management in the business program at the University of Toronto. This was the first course to integrate creative, strategic, and transformational thinking, with a focus on Meaning and the “human side of innovation." Elaine is the author of three international best-selling books on Innovation and Meaning, available in over 20 languages: Prisoners of Our Thoughts, The OPA! Way, and The Seeds of Innovation. She has shared her wisdom, consulting and speaking in Australia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and across Canada and the USA, as well as has been profiled in media around the world. Now, Elaine has founded the Global Meaning Institute "to help people discover new meaning in their lives and work, and at a systems level, connect to the deeper meaning in organizations, communities, and societies."
Following her interest in marketing and business strategy, Elaine pursued a career in Brand Management, including working at Procter & Gamble. During this stage, Elaine gained deeper insights into the need to understand a product's or service's core essence and unique point of difference -- insights that would lay the groundwork for her future work in Meaning.
In 1996, Elaine founded The Innovation Group which, at that time, was ahead of the trend and innovative! Elaine led the emerging field of Innovation Management with a breakthrough organizational culture assessment tool (Innovation Systems Architecture), designed and taught the first Innovation Management course in North America (in the business program at the University of Toronto), and wrote a best-selling book, The Seeds of Innovation. Her work was the first to integrate creative, strategic, and transformational thinking with a focus on Meaning and the "human side of innovation." This represented a paradigm shift in the approach to innovation -- at the individual level as well as for leaders developing the culture and processes for enterprise innovation. Elaine's work, integrating strategy and innovation with existential psychology and philosophy, has been embraced by many leading organizations, such as: ADP, AstraZeneca, Cargill, Carlson Hotels, DuPont, Fidelity, Four Seasons Hotels, Kraft, Mars, Mayo Clinic, Molson Breweries, Oracle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Timblerland, and many other corporate organizations, government agencies, and nonprofit entities around the world.
With a growing interest in Meaning Centric innovation, work, and more broadly, life itself, Elaine's quest brought her to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, and Greece. Here she explored the topics of transformational leadership, metaphysics, and philosophy. She also deepened her understanding of how people, communities, and societies can realize their full potential though meaning. Her new research showed that Meaning is the driver for and leads to higher levels of engagement & resilience, health & well-being, and performance & innovation. Elaine also trained at Harvard Medical School's Mind-Body Institute on Building Resilience and the Mind-Body Revolution in Health & Healing. Elaine captured her insights in the award-winning book, The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work. She also recently co-authored the expanded third edition of the international best-selling book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work, available in over 20 languages.
Elaine has shared her wisdom, consulting and speaking in Australia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and across Canada and the USA, as well as has been profiled in media around the world. Now, Elaine is leading the MEANING REVOLUTION by founding the Global Meaning Institute. Through the "Innovating with Meaning," "Innovating Your Work with Meaning," and "Innovating Your Life with Meaning 50+" advising, educational programs, and keynote speaking services, Elaine is dedicated to helping people discover new meaning in their lives and work, and at a systems level, connect to the deeper meaning in organizations, communities, and societies.
(Clockwise from upper left) Elaine with: author George R.R. Martin, creator of "Game of Thrones"; author, Agapi Stassinopoulos, sister of Arianna Huffington; Lt. Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell; Emmy Award-winning composer, Chris Spheeris