Personal Blog of Joe Brewer


It’s such a pleasure to work with awesome people on world changing projects!  Here’s a sampling of some of the cool things I’ve gotten to be involved with over the years…

Start-up Ventures

I have participated in the creation of several new enterprises:

Culture2 Inc.


culture2_logo_light_vertical_tagline_rgbAt Culture2 Inc. our mission is to help good memes spread. We are living in a world where “good memes are not good memes” — the most influential ideas are often destructive and harmful. They have had more success at spreading than the ideas that humanity needs to survive and flourish into the foreseeable future. As a social impact company, we recognize that doing good is a great way to earn a living. Our advanced meme technologies are only used in the service of this worthy ideal. We live our values and hold the integrity of our mission as a core operating principle.

Cognitive Policy Works

Cognitive Policy Works was born as a social business venture with the mission of  cultivating a new profession of best practices for political and social change built on the foundation of cognitive and behavioral science.

Cognitive Policy Works has served more than 30 clients around the world and attracted the interest of emerging young leaders who want to understand the science behind political thought and behavior so they can be effective change agents in their careers.  Services offered include workshops, frame analysis, political consulting, and organizational strategy.

International Centre for Earth Simulation

The ICES Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international research centre dedicated to simulating the dynamic Earth System as a Whole.  We have set out to build a hub for global innovation and the public good, using deep scientific understandings combined with advanced modeling, simulation and visualization technologies.

ICES will install and continually upgrade one of the world’s fastest supercomputers; improve the numerical models for the various dynamic natural subsystems of the planet; assimilate and synthesize data sets from regional and national research partners; harmonize satellite and in situ data sets with scientific models of the Earth Sciences; return useful simulation outputs and interactive visualizations to our partner networks; provide support to developing nations which do not have the necessary resources themselves; and build a training environment for integrative thinkers to specialize in Earth Systems Modeling.

Seattle Innovators

Seattle Innovators has driven the dialogue around regional-scale innovation and cross-sector collaboration. It is the convener of catalytic events like our first “Building Day” where 87 innovators came together to build tools for cross-sector collaboration

I mobilized creative thought leaders from business, government, education, and non-profit sectors to develop critical infrastructure for stimulating innovation in the Greater Seattle Region. This work started out with the vision of making Seattle the first carbon neutral city in North America, and has evolved into a new focus on making Puget Sound THE innovation hub for the green economy.

Vicinus Group

The Vicinus Group, based in Seattle, WA, helps organizations discover and manage complex social relationships and affinities critical to success. We provide relationship mapping, visualization and collaboration training services that leverage the hidden structural and relationship patterns within clients’ larger social ecosystems.  These relationships can be interpersonal and inter-organizational (e.g., central actors), spatial (e.g., geographic dispersion), procedural (e.g., collaborative processes), or drawn from public discourse (e.g., issue salience and conceptual framing), depending on clients’ interest and desired outcomes.


Here is a sample of cool projects I’ve gotten to work on.

Progressive Strategy Handbook

I created the first strategy handbook for the progressive movement financed through a crowdfunding campaign and built around an open platform of collaboration. Using social media, I raised $5,000 from 65 contributors living in 21 U.S. states and 5 other countries using the Rocket Hub website. The handbook was written in five weeks with an open editing process that empowered all financial investors to contribute suggestions for improvement. Then it was published under a Creative Commons license in order to distribute it using viral marketing techniques over the internet.

Streets for All Seattle

I led an excellent design team in the creation of the website for the Streets for All Seattle campaign. It brought together usability designers, community organizers, and transportation policy experts to develop a highly acclaimed web presence for this grassroots initiative.  My primary role was to craft the narrative that drove the entire campaign, building on my expertise in strategic framing and forward engagement.

Identity Campaigning

I partnered with Tom Crompton of WWF-UK to provide expert counsel in the development of a powerful framework for advocacy campaigns based on deep insights into the social psychology of identity and the semantic frames that constitute various modes of understanding. I was a contributing author for the Common Cause report published jointly by World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam International, Climate Outreach and Information Network, Friends of the Earth, and Campaign to Protect Rural England.

ESES Major

I designed a four year undergraduate major in Earth Systems, Environment & Society at the University of Illinois. This required me to coordinate faculty in ten academic departments spanning three colleges to create a groundbreaking new program that merges earth sciences, complex systems, and the humanities around sustainability themes.

Finding Frames

I worked closely with lead campaign staff at several development organizations to identify semantic frames shaping public understanding of global poverty.  This resulted in a major report published by Oxfam-UK that makes the strongest case to date that new approaches to advocacy can be substantially more meaningful and engaging.  This advances the implementation of cutting-edge ideas from the cognitive and behavioral sciences for enhanced advocacy in the complex realm of public opinion and large-scale social behavior.

  1. Joe,

    We should talk. I’m away at a conference this week, but will be back after the 21 June. We took over an NGO shell nearly two years ago, that was positioned just at the inflection point where we believe we can be most effective, Trade & Transport. Our strategic approach rests largely on the same principles (and implicit practices) asserted for Chaotic Ripple. A conversation might help us discover achievable common objectives and the resources needed to achieve them. -David Hawthorne

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