DR. MARK DRAPEAU
Scientist / Analyst / Strategist / Writer
I am a scientist, analyst, strategist, and writer specializing in providing decision advantage for leaders. At the core, I constantly scan the world for signals about what the future may hold and imagine possible scenarios about coming threats and opportunities. Through my consultancy Edge & Flame, I help decision makers diagnose external factors affecting their organization and create game plans for navigating alternative futures.
A particular interest of mine is utilizing biological metaphors to help people understand patterns and phenomena. In part, this culminated in a book, "Bio-inspired Innovation and National Security" (2010).
My work has received coverage from CNN, BBC, NPR, Vanity Fair, TechCrunch, Fast Company, and Bloomberg.
In the first phase of my career, I studied the genetics and neuroscience of animal behavior in labs at the University of Rochester, the University of California, and New York University. I primarily worked with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, although I also worked on parasitoid wasps and honey bees. My background in and love of science and the scientific method infuses everything I do.
In 2006, I was awarded the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, which brought me to work as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Defense for three years. I was stationed at the National Defense University at Fort McNair, where I analyzed and advised senior decision makers on issues including biodefense, pandemics, alternative energy, and social media use by government officials.
I transitioned to the private sector when I joined Microsoft in a newly created role whose purpose was to drive technical storytelling innovation across its multi-billion dollar public sector business. After four years, I was recruited to lead research and insights at a top consulting and creative firm in Washington, DC before eventually opening my own boutique consultancy, Edge & Flame.
Over the years, I've written scientific articles, government papers, book chapters, newspaper op-eds, magazine articles, blog posts, and more. I also co-edited a book about the many diverse applications of biology to matters of national security. Generally, my topics of interest have been the biological sciences, complex systems, social technologies, human behavior, and global affairs.