Jeremy Heimans: Biography highlights
Jeremy Heimans is co-founder and CEO of Purpose, a home for building 21st-century movements and crowd-based social and economic models to tackle the world’s biggest problems.
Full biography of Jeremy Heimans
Since its launch in 2009, Purpose has launched several major new organisations including All Out, a 2.2 million-strong LGBT rights group, built the world’s first open-source global activism platform, and advised institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ACLU, and Google.
Jeremy has been building movements since the age of eight, when, as a child activist in his native Australia, he ran media campaigns and lobbied leaders on issues like children’s rights and nuclear non-proliferation. In 2005, he co-founded GetUp, an Australian political organisation and internationally-recognised social movement phenomenon that today has more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. And in 2007, Jeremy was a co-founder of Avaaz, the world’s largest online citizens’ movement, now with more than 40 million members.
In 2011, Jeremy received the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award for his work as a movement pioneer and the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader. He also serves as Chair of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Civic Participation. In 2012, Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business. The World e-Government Forum has named him as one of the top ten people who is changing the world of politics and the internet, and The Guardian named him one of the ten most influential voices on sustainability in the US. And in 2015, Jeremy received the Performance Theatre’s Inspired Leadership Award, whose previous recipients have included Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, and Paul Polman. His work has been profiled in publications like The Economist and The New York Times, and his most recent thinking with Henry Timms on “new power” was featured as the Big Idea in Harvard Business Review, as one of 2014’s top TED talks with more than 1.25m views, and by CNN as one of ten top ideas to change the world in 2015.
Jeremy has been a keynote speaker at venues such as the World Economic Forum at Davos, TED, the RSA, Chatham House, the United Nations, Blair House, The Economist Big Rethink, The Guardian Activate, and Social Media Week.
Jeremy began his career with the strategy consultants McKinsey & Company and he has degrees from Harvard University and the University of Sydney. He lives in New York.
Watch Jeremy in action
A wonderfully incisive contribution that not only explains how the dynamics of power are changing, but also provides the tools-and the confidence-to harness those changes to build businesses, spread ideas, and make a better world.'
Black Lives Matter
'A must-read, 'New Power' is a gift to our movements. It's not just about going viral-it's about connecting millions of people to roll up our sleeves and create the changes we long for.'
'The nature and use of power is changing rapidly, distributing broadly in unexpected channels.'New Power' provides the practical tools to help us all understand this shift. But it also draws out the big battle of our times-whether all this new power will end up being used for good or bad.'
National Domestic Workers Alliance
''New Power' is both a practical guide and a much needed dose of optimism, helping us understand that the future is ours for the making. A must-read for today's leaders in any field.'
'The surest sign that I've encountered a big idea isn't what that idea does to my brain. It's what it does to my eyes. When an idea is sufficiently compelling, it changes the very way I see. That's what happened to me when I read New Power.'
'You couldn't wish for two better people to write this explanation and exploration of new power than Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans. It is the detail in this book that really excites... its optimism and practical advice. And, unexpectedly, it is funny. I'd encourage you to participate in purchasing.'
International Rescue Committee
'Power is shifting as never before, so 'New Power' is addressing a vital issue for our times: how to make the voices and choices of all, not just a few, count for something. Plaudits to Heimans and Timms for their determination to help shape the future, not just complain about it.'
'Fascinating... Cogent... Will intrigue anyone who wants to channel the new power of the crowd.'
Jeremy's speaking topics
Leadership in the Age of Mass Participation
In the U.S. presidential elections of 2008 and 2016, two very different candidates broke through the political establishment to score upset victories. Though Barack Obama and Donald Trump have little else in common, they both utilized new power - the capacity to mobilize and inspire participation in our hyper-connected world - to overcome the old power of party machines, protocol and reliance on donor rolodexes. In politics and beyond, including the corporate world, leaders must learn how to not only survive in a world where digital connectivity challenges their influence but also use it to their advantage. Some of today's most successful corporate leaders understand that the capacity to mobilize beyond their payrolls, and to build a larger crowd that will show up for them, has become crucial. New power, says experts Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, is a current, not a currency - 'and works best when it surges.' Whereas previous leaders may have sought to contain the crowd, successful leaders in the digital era channel it into popular support and brand building. They understand that intensity is now more important than favorability. But as Heimans and Timms argue, the tools of old power are still necessary to help leaders shape and direct the energy they unleash. In this presentation, they reveal a whole new way to think about leadership - one that relies less on formal authority, and that can inspire unprecedented participation and creativity among employees, consumers and stakeholders.
Unlocking Consumer Engagement in a New Power World: How the Combination of Purpose and Participation is Supercharging Brands and Transforming Marketing
Twentieth century marketing - a world of slogans and jingles delivered from on high by big advertisers - is approaching extinction. But what will replace it, and how can brands truly engage and build a connection to their consumers beyond increasingly commoditized Facebook pages and paid social media influencers? In this presentation, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms lay out three key elements of the successful new power brand, one that is built to thrive in the 21st century: (Product + Purpose) x Participation = New Power Brand Heimans and Timms show examples, from multi-billion dollar companies, to craft breweries and video game developers, who have figured out how to create a sense of higher purpose among their consumers - and then turn that purpose into action and participation. This presentation equips innovators, whether startup founders or large corporations, with the tools they need to create a Participation Premium that generates funding for ideas and builds a passionate customer base at the same time.
How to Navigate and Harness New Power
The digital age has turned the nature of power in our economy, politics and society upside down. New digital platforms and dramatically increased connectivity have given ordinary consumers and citizens unprecedented influence over how leaders and institutions behave, while eroding the authority of more established organizations. So how do those 'old power' organizations - corporations, media, governments - survive and flourish in this new era? Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, who literally wrote the book on new power, offer in this presentation a guide to understanding and capitalizing on this seismic shift. Crucially, Heimans and Timms have worked with startups and social movements on one hand and with established institutions and Fortune 100 companies on the other, giving them a unique insight into how old and new power are successfully blended and combined. They argue how old power - that of formal authority, expertise and exclusivity - still offers important benefits to those organizations which wield it. But new power - the energy and enthusiasm of digitally organized crowds and communities - must be integrated into all aspects of how organizations behave internally and present themselves to the public. This keynote provides concrete examples of how to navigate the changing nature of power and harness its enormous opportunities.
The Future of Work in a New Power World
The 20th century model of work prized employees' ability to know their place within an elaborately structured and managed organization. In exchange, workers were rewarded with job security and a pension. But in a world guided by the 'new power' values of disruption and mass engagement, managers are increasingly finding they must contend with workers who offer frank feedback, demand to be heard and want to feel - and participate - like start-up founders. The companies promoting such engagement tend to outperform those that stick to rigid hierarchy. Navigating the challenges of new power in the workplace has become a critical issue for corporate executives, especially those trained in the era of old power. But Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms offer specific examples of firms that deliver recognition and opportunity to workers hungry for feedback and participation while maintaining sensible structures of decision-making. By combining these elements of old and new power, managers can effectively attract and retain young talent in a fast-changing world. This presentation can also look at the broader picture of how the shift to new power and the rise of the gig economy will impact the job market and the social safety net, as workers face not only greater recognition but less security.
The Future of Online Engagement: Building the 'Full Stack Society'
The internet was supposed to be a decentralized, democratic space where people could share ideas. This idealistic vision has been tempered by the rise of giant digital platforms that extract value from consumers while often limiting their alternative options. Conversely, the idea of internet freedom itself has become tainted by the rise of 'fake news' and online hate speech. How do we get back to the original optimistic notions of the internet's founders? Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms offer hope in the form of real stories of how individuals, nonprofits and companies alike are using crowd-sourcing to mobilize popular engagement for good rather than negative purposes, and how we might reimagine the internet in a way that truly democratizes and brings us together, not drives us further apart. In this presentation, the experts provide guidance to organizations of all types on how to recapture the inherent good in digital cooperation - and help build a better world.