Elaine Dundon, Philosopher of Meaning, co-founder of the Global Meaning Institute, creator of MEANINGology®, speaker, and author of three international best-selling books on Innovation and Meaning.
Elaine Dundon is a Philosopher of Meaning and co-founder of the Global Meaning Institute, with offices in Canada, the United States, and Greece. 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 at the University of Toronto, which was the first to integrate creative, strategic, and transformational thinking, with a focus on the “human side of innovation.” She 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. 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." Through the MEANINGology® educational programs, MEANING assessments, project-specific MEANING LABS, and speaking, Elaine encourages individuals and groups to understand the broader context and deeper meaning of their life and work in order to reach their full potential.
Elaine has always been on a search for deeper meaning. At the early age of twelve, facing her mother’s battle with cancer, she learned that life was fragile and that every situation presents the opportunity to put life’s challenges in perspective and to find meaning in any situation, however tragic.
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 insight into the need to understand a product's or service's (or person's) core essence and unique point of difference -- an insight 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 (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." During this stage, Elaine gained deeper insight into the need to challenge conventional thinking, create innovative mindsets, and encourage innovation cultures in order to discover new insights, new meanings, and ultimately, new ideas. Her work has been embraced by many leading organizations, including: 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 a more humane approach to innovation, work, and, more broadly, life itself, Elaine heeded the call to explore the emerging field of Meaning. Her quest brought her to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, and Greece, where she explored the topics of transformational leadership, metaphysics, and philosophy. Through these experiences, Elaine discovered that living and working from the "core of meaning" helped facilitate engagement & resilience, health & well-being, and performance & innovation. Elaine captured these insights in the award-winning book, The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work. She also deepened her understanding of how people, communities, and societies can realize their full potential though meaning by conducting extensive and exciting new research into the subject. 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.
Now combining her unique background in Brand Management, Innovation Management, and Meaning, Elaine has co-founded the Global Meaning Institute with the goal of helping people connect to the deeper meaning and core essence of their life and work, and at a systems level, connect to the deeper meaning within organizations, communities, and societies. Through the MEANINGology® educational programs, MEANING assessments, project-specific MEANING LABS, and speaking, Elaine encourages individuals and groups to understand the broader context and deeper meaning of their life and work in order to reach their full potential.
As a Philosopher of Meaning, Elaine has shared her wisdom in Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and the USA. Her journey continues...