Joe Rohde, Disney Imagineer Talks Diversity, Exploration and Adventure

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Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and former President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Joe Rohde, Disney Imagineer.

This “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” episode released on May 20th, 2021, and is now available on all major podcast networks, under the Podcast Channel “Life’s Tough: Explorers are Tougher”.

Consider for a moment that exploration is compulsive behavior… something you must do. It’s an engine that runs a lot of life energy. Our host of the Explorers podcast, Richard Wiese, had the opportunity to talk with Joe Rohde about this on an episode recently.
Joe retired after working as an Imagineer at Disney for forty years. He started working for the company when Epcot Center was being built and helped design several country pavilions there. Imagineering is the company’s branch responsible for conceptualizing, planning, and building everything that Disney makes.

Imagineering blends engineering with the arts. It strives for authenticity and diversity of ideas. Joe Rohde worked in the conceptual department. This means he is an “ideas” man, where every project starts. During his research into projects, Joe would often look for creating a kinesthetic experience for theme park goers… Asking the question, “What does it FEEL like to be here?”

His work on the Animal Kingdom project at Disney meant facing the challenge of creating an animal experience while moving away from the zoo paradigm. He stresses the importance of sending messages about our relationship to the world and conservation. At the same time, it’s about appreciating the chance to explore the relationship between the animals and us.

At the heart of it, explorers are storytellers. Joe Rohde is an advocate of the diversity of ideas, noting that you need to be encouraged to think differently to create new ideas. It’s essential to look for diverse input to change yourself and your approach to creativity.

To learn more about explorer Joe Rohde and his adventures as an Imagineer and explorer, check here. To hear about other explorers, join us for new episodes of Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER! At

Richard Wiese, the host of this podcast, is an American explorer. He is the author of the guidebook, Born to Explore: How to Be a Backyard Adventurer. He became the youngest person to become president of the Explorers Club in 2002. Richard is also Executive Producer and Host of the PBS weekly television series Born to Explore with Richard Wiese.


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