Bill Shireman Interview: How to Turn an Enemy into an Ally
Are you losing friends or family members over differing political or religious beliefs?
Are you being played by institutions that demonize their opponents so you’ll give money or get involved?
And how can we break through the toxicity and polarization that distracts us from making positive progress?
Bill Shireman makes a living helping corporate and institutional enemies find common ground. In this encore episode, he discusses how the rest of us can avoid the mind games that have us believe our neighbors are our enemies.
In this interview:
- How you can avoid being “played” by the polarization and toxicity
- Why your “enemy” may want the same things you want
- How institutions and organizations use conflict and demonization to increase engagement and funding from the public
- How to find purpose, mission, and power instead of feeling overpowered by organizations and institutions
- How you can bridge the gap with someone who seemingly has different values
- “Before they care about what we know, they need to know that we care.”
- Why a political consultant once told Tripp, “It’s hard to raise money when people aren’t scared.”
- Finding common ground between uncommon allies
About Bill Shireman
Bill Shireman is Future 500’s founder and fearless leader. In today’s culture of “us vs. them,” he’s a walking contradiction and trend bucker. He’s a life-long Republican and an environmental activist, a social progressive and a free-market enthusiast. Bill believes that our economics and our ecosystems don’t have to be at odds and that the left and right both have ample room to learn from each other.
Since his first campaign at age 7, Bill has been finding innovative ways to solve complex environmental and social challenges. He has an uncanny ability to cut through dogma and find common ground – even between those who love to hate each other. From global corporations and corporate activists to Republicans and Democrats, there’s no division too wide for Bill to act as a bridge builder.
Bill has a long track record of helping sworn enemies find common ground and win-win solutions. As the executive director of Californians Against Waste, he united Coors, Safeway and the Sierra Club to pass California’s “bottle bill”, the nation’s most cost-effective recycling law. His success forging a partnership between Mitsubishi and Rainforest Action Network helped catalyze the global deforestation-free movement…and also led to the founding of Future 500.