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NXTLVL Experience Design

Episode 33: Eric Schick

Mankind, Mother Earth and The Marketplace with Eric Schick, CEO Pantheon and Founder of CEED

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In Ep. 33 of the NXTLVL Experience Design “Mankind, Mother Earth and The Marketplace,” host David Kepron and Eric Schick talk about sustainable energy technologies, Romanian revolutions, connections to Nelson Mandela, leadership and being in right relationship with ourselves, each other and Mother Earth. Eric recently formed the company “CEED” which is an acronym for Consumables, Energy, Environment and Design, and CEED’s mission is to deploy distributed infrastructure technologies that are good for mankind, mother earth and the marketplace.

INFO ON ERIC SCHICK

Eric’s Profile: linkedin.com/in/eric-schick-73b72117

Email: eric@pantheontile.com

BIO:

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Eric Schick is an entrepreneur and business strategist whose passion and enthusiasm for restoring the natural environment through the built environment are palpable when you meet him. Eric’s 23 year background as co-founder and CEO of Pantheon Floor Solutions, a popular commercial tile brand specified by the architect, engineer and design community, led him to discover a variety of innovative and futuristic building technologies he has helped co-found, fund and steward. Two of the most exciting technologies are Hover Energy and Eden Green, which have both recently hit commercialization stage.

Eric recently formed the company CEED with his wife of 25 years, Elizabeth Schick, who is his partner in marriage, business and all things important in his life. “CEED” is an acronym for Consumables, Energy, Environment and Design, and CEED’s mission is to deploy distributed infrastructure technologies that are good for mankind, mother earth and the marketplace.

Eric is also a reverend, and enjoys encouraging people with the gospel to find their purpose for their life so they can share it with the world and live the abundant life.

SHOW INTRO:

It’s not often that I talk to a business owner who lives by the simple rule of growing his business in service of “MANKIND – MOTHER EARTH – and the MARKETPLACE.” This is a “triple bottom line” that keeps on repeating, over and over in my head.

Perhaps it has become more front row center in my conscious awareness over the past couple of years because I have become more convinced that what we humans are doing to our planet, and each other, needs urgent attention.

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My sons will tell me that they, at times, lose hope that what is happening now with climate change will mean that the planet is unsave-able. This was never a consideration when I was growing up. I grew up in a world where plastics were a savior – think the joy of Tupperware parties and how plastics would revolutionize almost everything.

Plastics, another use for the black gold buried deep in the core of our little blue dot spinning around one of the billions of stars in the universe. Plastics also form a floating island growing to be twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. It is estimated that the mass of the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) was estimated to be approximately 80,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to that of 500 Jumbo Jets.

Let that sit for a moment.

Our relationship with our planet is broken.

And we can’t simply do what has been on the rise for years in marriages and divorce it. As far as we know, and despite some brilliant thinking and creative and brilliant engineering and visionary leadership, we are still a number of years away from getting off Mother Earth and colonizing Mars.

And, what a tragedy to simply suck this planet dry of natural resources and leave the scorched earth to maybe do the same somewhere else. Divorcing our planet is not an option.

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My guest on this episode of NXTLVL Experience Design believes that “Right now we are suffering from bad relationship” – with the earth, each other.”

Energy and food production are part of the complex system that is contributing to our planet literally being on fire. We have got to have our “Come to Jesus moment” with climate change and not rely on teenagers like Greta Thunberg (God bless her) to be ringing the alarm. Generations prior to Greta and my Sons’, have made the mess, and we can’t avoid the responsibility for cleaning it up. Corporations have to up their game in producing clean energy solutions, reducing waste to landfills and the food production industry must look for sustainable solutions to not pumping more carbon into the atmosphere.

I use the ‘come to Jesus’ phrase because it is time but also because my guest on this episode is a business owner, investor, philanthropist, and Reverend.

Erik Schick has a mission of “Restoring the environment through the built environment.” He knows that a good deal of the damage being done to our planet’s ecology is from the building industry. Building buildings, and operating them, puts a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. And so, Eric believes that “Wherever we create an economic impact we have to leave a social footprint.”

Eric’s 23-year history as founder and CEO of Pantheon Floor Solutions led him to discover a variety of innovative and futuristic building technologies he has helped co-found, fund and steward. Two of the most exciting technologies that we will talk about are Hover Energy and Eden Green, which have both recently hit commercialization stage.

Eric recently formed the company CEED with his wife of 25 years, Elizabeth Schick, who is his partner in marriage, business and all things important in his life. “CEED” is an acronym for “Consumables, Energy, Environment and Design.”

CEED’s mission is to deploy distributed infrastructure technologies that are good for mankind, mother earth and the marketplace. There is the mantra: do good for – mankind- mother earth and the marketplace.

A note to our listeners about this episode:

This conversation with Eric Schick is powerful and inspiring.

It is also challenging at times because we talk about some of Eric’s work while on a medical mission trip to Romania during the revolution and El Salvador where atrocious acts of violence were being committed. So, I feel I need to let you know that some listeners may find this particular content during the episode disturbing.

INFO ON DAVID KEPRON

BIO:

David Kepron is a multifaceted creative professional with a deep curiosity to understand ‘why’, ‘what’s now’ and ‘what’s next’. He brings together his background as an architect, artist, educator, author, podcast host and builder to the making of meaningful and empathically-focused, community-centric customer connections at brand experience places around the globe.

David is a former VP – Global Design Strategies at Marriott International. While at Marriott, his focus was on the creation of compelling customer experiences within Marriott’s “Premium Distinctive” segment which included: Westin, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels and Gaylord hotels.

In 2020 Kepron founded NXTLVL Experience Design, a strategy and design consultancy, where he combines his multidisciplinary approach to the creation of relevant brand engagements with his passion for social and cultural anthropology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies.

As a frequently requested international speaker at corporate events and international conferences focusing on CX, digital transformation, retail, hospitality, emerging technology, David shares his expertise on subjects ranging from consumer behaviors and trends, brain science and buying behavior, store design and visual merchandising, hotel design and strategy as well as creativity and innovation. In his talks, David shares visionary ideas on how brand strategy, brain science and emerging technologies are changing guest expectations about relationships they want to have with brands and how companies can remain relevant in a digitally enabled marketplace.

David currently brings his creativity and insight on brand experiences to an international audience as a member of VMSD magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, as a Board Member of the Interactive Customer Experience Association (ICXA) and Sign Research Foundation’s (SRF) Program Committee.

He has held teaching positions at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), the Department of Architecture & Interior Design of Drexel University in Philadelphia, the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (L.I.M.) in New York, the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Montreal and he served as the Director of the Visual Merchandising Department at LaSalle International Fashion School (L.I.F.S.) in Singapore.

In 2014 Kepron published his first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World” and he is currently working on his second book to be published soon. David also writes a popular blog called “Brain Food” which is published monthly on vmsd.com.

In September of 2020, he launched the “NXTLVL Experience Design” podcast which brings listeners dialogues about “DATA: Design, Architecture, Technology and the Arts.” His guests include thought leaders who are driven by a passion to create the ‘New Possible’ and promote new paradigms of experiences into the mainstream.

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