Friday Favorites: Thought Leaders, Social Media, and Blogs

 In Change Culture

Today, we’re talking about thought leaders, social media accounts, and blogs we admire. Read on for some great suggestions on people and organizations to follow!

Ryan, Director of Change

Growing up in the pre-internet, pre-social media era there was far less access to information and to thought leaders. This has been a huge live improvement over the last 10 to 15 years both personally and professionally.

On economics and inequality, I read Nobel Winner, Paul Krugman, who write for the New York Times and a smaller straight to the point economics blog called Calculated Risk.

On marketing, digital, and ad tech I read a lot of folks, but the big ones are the research from the Allison Mooney Think by Google team, marketing guru Jean Gianfagna, and a lot of time spent digitally research from the folks at Pew Research.

On news and current events, I like to follow a number of reporters on Twitter and specifically I read a lot of Sarah Kliff, Ezra Klein, and Matt Yglesias at Vox. Lately, I have read a lot of pieces by the great team at Teen Vogue.

On politics, I follow a wide cross section of folks, but I primarily read about the politics on and the research around swing voters, voter turnout, labor union members, black voters, and the role race plays in our politics. Couple of folks/orgs I read a lot are Celinda Lake, the folks at the Economic Policy Institute, Cornell Belcher, the folks at Democracy Corps, and Susan Demas. I really like ideas that bring together what is actually happening in the world, what voters are actually saying/feeling, and how that relates to important events or policies.


 Erin, Communications Associate 

For thought leaders, my two favorite TED Talks are by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; she is an author, and her book Americanah has been on my list for a very long time. But, her two TED Talks are “We Should All Be Feminists” and “The Danger of a Single Story.” They’re both about how we should be treating and respecting others no matter who they are.

For social media accounts, I really like Reese Witherspoon’s, because she has great book recommendations. They’re always about strong female characters, and they are often turned into movies because she has a production company. So, following her is a good way to keep up with current, popular books and movies.

And then my favorite blogger is Julia Engel, and her blog is Gal Meets GlamShe’s a fashion blogger, but she and her husband travel all over the world. So, she always has really great travel advice.


Amanda, Chief Results Officer

Someone I really admire and like to follow a lot is Van Jones. I think that he is always really insightful. I really admire his career and how he has evolved over time into someone how has really done social justice work on the ground and has taken a lot of that learning and applied it into becoming a really incredible mouthpiece and leader in the progressive movement. I was definitely very lucky to meet him when we hosted him at the Michigan Summit, I think in 2010. And the Michigan Summit took a hiatus but is back this weekend, and we are really excited about that.

In terms of other thought leaders I really do feel like the four guys from Pod Save America are really important voices for millennial progressives in terms of helping us process what we’re going through in Trump’s America. And reacting with humor and action. So, that’s definitely a real staple of my week. And I am excited about Ana Marie Cox‘s new podcast to try to draw in new voices and having conversations about people that you are opposed to.

Those are three big ones for me, but someone else whose social media account that I really like to follow on Facebook and Twitter is David Knezek, a state Senator from Michigan. He is, I think, one of the more authentic political voices out there right now. And, he does a really great job of listening to what other people are going through and telling their stories. He’s a very young elected official and an Iraq veteran, the first elected Iraq veteran to the Michigan House and Senate.

I am definitely inspired by a lot of these people who are taking up the mantel and who are new to getting involved and new to activism around fighting back on Trump. And then I’m excited about what people who have been in this movement for a long time are doing.


Haley, Organizer of Words & People

I don’t actively follow any blogs or thought leaders, but when solid inspiration speaks to me, I like to recognize it and apply it to my own life. For example, I enjoy listening to various thought pieces on NPR, Michigan Radio, and the podcast “This American Life.”

I also appreciate learning from successful women in business, like Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner from Shark Tank (a favorite show of mine). Above all though, I appreciate the voices and lessons of classic authors, including my favorites: Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Ray Bradbury.


Morgan, Video Production Associate

One of my favorite thought leaders that I follow on social media is Rupi Kaur. She’s an author of a poetry book called “Milk & Honey” and is always posting photos of different poems on social media. She addresses a lot of prevalent social advocacy topics that women face in our society that really make me stop and think. Her work is easy to relate to. Otherwise, I follow a bunch of organizations that often inspire and empower me on social media. The United State of Women, He For She, and It’s On Us are some of my favorite groups.


Sara, Director of Digital Evangelism

The problem with social media is that there are SO MANY thought leaders to follow. Some of my favorites aren’t necessarily thought leaders, but storytellers. I have to say that I think Humans of New York changed the way we told stories online — that a compelling portrait and an earnest soundbite forces the user to think more deeply about an issue — whether it’s love, death, hardships or any specific policy issue. I think it proves how important it is to engage, and listen — even if we don’t always agree.

While it’s more non-profit focused, I’ve been a regular follower of Beth Kanter’s blog for years — and lots of her content can be applied to multiple sectors. She covers anything and everything from technology to professional development to marketing.


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