Eric Utne is a writer, publisher, and social entrepreneur. In 1984, he founded Utne Reader, the "field guide to the emerging culture." He was the editor and publisher of Utne Reader for 16 years. In 1991 the magazine formed the Neighborhood Salon Association to "revive the endangered art of conversation and start a revolution in people's living rooms." Over 18,000 people joined, comprising nearly 500 salons across North America.
Utne has a B.E.D. (Environmental Design) from the University of Minnesota. He is a cofounder of the Headwaters Fund and a founding member of the Social Venture Network. In November 2006 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. He is a Senior Fellow at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, where he co-authored a series of courses called Whole Systems Healing that explore the social and environmental dimensions of health and well-being. Utne has four sons and five grandchildren. He lives on the St. Croix River in Minnesota.