Hi reader. Thanks for seeing this headline and being curious enough to click.

The TL;DR: I’m moving out of the CEO role at Hearken and into leading strategic global partnerships at the company and chairing the board. Translation: I’ll have way more time to consult and support other organizations who are interested in engagement. Can I be helpful to your business? Want to collaborate? Reach out!

The longer story … for the curious.

An Accidental CEO

Since 2012, I’ve been set on proving out that journalism could improve if reported with not just for or about the people it serves. After showing the idea had traction via Curious City at WBEZ, I was eager to see if the idea could scale so that even more people (and more kinds of people) could be heard and represented by news media and shape it. …

Image for post

Reflections from a community gardener

Publication: The New San Francisco Chronicle

April 29, 2050

By Nuna Batbayar

It’s taken me 30 years to make sense of life, post-COVID-19. While there have been flashes of comprehension along the way, nothing clarifies like the combination of time and distance.

I was approaching my 40th birthday, when the shift began. And like most of the world, I couldn’t imagine so much change, so much progress womanifesting within my lifetime.

Before the destructive path of COVID-19 began leaking its way around the globe, I had been strapped into the rollercoaster of the U.S. Presidential primaries, losing my stomach in the drops and lifts between heartbreak and hope. There were whole weeks in which it felt like we might finally know our first female president in the United States. Crushed. And moments in which ideas once thought of as radical, like universal basic income and a true public safety net were becoming plausible, and that checks on extractive corporate and finance culture could be coming. …

“If we provide information, then the public will take action,” said journalism.

“If we provide the degree, then students will then have economic mobility,” said higher education.

“If we make good policy, then our communities will function,” said the government.

These assumptions have been proven wrong in devastating fashion.

In this moment of crisis, we are witnessing institutions established to serve the public disintegrate before our eyes. Collectively, we are being called to mix and pour cement for new foundations of our changing society.

But before we get to that we have to start by listening to those for whom these systems never worked to begin with. …


Jennifer Brandel

Accidental journalist turned CEO of a tech-enabled company called Hearken. Founder of @WBEZCuriousCity Find me: @JenniferBrandel @wearehearken wearehearken.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store