Wisdom Hackers

We are artists, activists and entrepreneurs facing, like you, common global problems, from mass consumption and digital overload, to inequality amidst rapid urbanisation. Here, we slow down and reflect on the ancient wisdom traditions – those of the shamans, monks, and long-forgotten mystics – and apply them to modern times.

Every stave is a new adventure. Join us.

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About the author

Curated by Alexa Clay (aka The Amish Futurist, and author of The Misfit Economy), the series brings together up and coming writers from across the world, including the award-winning Anna Stothard and the prominent journalist Nathan Schneider.

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Why We Like It

  • Young writers of the moment explore the key questions of the modern age.
  • Ancient and modern philosophy make sense of society.
  • Answers to the questions people don’t usually want to ask.

Meet the Wisdom Hackers community


Aengus is an oral historian and digital media producer. His work explores how Americans reflect upon their pasts and imagine their futures.



Alexa is a regular commentator on topics related to economic transition, wisdom, disruptive innovation, black market and fringe economies, and technology angst. She is the co-author of The Misfit Economy (forthcoming with Simon & Schuster). She has written and appeared in Fast Company, Forbes, Wired, Dazed and Confused, VICE, Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, the Guardian and MTV. She is the founder of Wisdom Hackers. When not operating in the world as Alexa, you can find her playing the Amish Futurist, an alter ego bringing Socratic inquiry to the tech scene.



Alnoor is the Executive Director of /The Rules (/TR), a network of activists focused on mobilizing citizens in the Global South to address the root causes of inequality and poverty rather than simply focusing on aid. Prior to /TR, he was a founding partner and the Head of Strategy at Purpose, an incubator for new types of social movements. Alnoor is currently a Board Member of Greenpeace International USA. He holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.



Anna is a British novelist, journalist and screenwriter. Her first novel Isabel and Rocco was published when she was nineteen. Her second, The Pink Hotel, was published all over the world, longlisted for the Orange Prize and is being made into a film directed by Anna Paquin. Anna currently lives in Berlin, where she is writing a novel set in a natural history museum about the connection between physical objects and autobiographical memory. She has spent the last year lurking in galleries and storage backrooms around the world, collecting evocative objects, learning taxidermy, pinning moths and writing.  



Ben Riddle is a designer and social impact strategist. He has worked with Future Partners and Project M to foster sustainable development in the rural South and launched 10-4 Good City, a network of social entrepreneurs who share resources, connections and ideas across cities. In partnership with a coalition of service providers and leaders in the Upstate of South Carolina, Ben is currently developing a social impact lab that applies design principles to homeless service provision. Ben enjoys talking to strangers, sipping coffee, jumping out of airplanes and tapping into the moral imagination to think about where we’re headed next.



Brett is campaigner, former broker, and the author of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (Pluto Press, 2013). He has worked with groups like ActionAid UK, MoveYourMoney UK, The Finance Innovation Lab, Open Oil, and University of the Arts London. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Wired, the New Scientist, CNN.com and Aeon Magazine, amongst others.



Garance is an entrepreneur, international system builder and behavioral innovation strategist. Born and raised in Paris, she has designed organizational structures, educational programs, impact evaluations and adaptive strategies for organizations all around the world. Garance's philosophy is rooted in challenging the notion of institutionalized expertise and its deriving power structures. She has used participatory design principles in her work with the US Congress, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Global Initiative, Purpose and The Lowline. As a speaker and educator, she has taught her unique framework for cross-cultural problem solving at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University.



Hosan Lee is CEO and founder of TableTribes, an information-sharing platform that facilitates face-to-face conversations around common discussion topics using food and drink as a vehicle. She also co-founded The Hero Project, a platform created to share stories about the heroes hidden among us. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, received her multidisciplinary design education from Art Center College of Design and Central St. Martins, and has a background in advertising, design, media and writing. Among others, her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, PSFK, and the Huffington Post.



Idil is a Somali journalist and writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, the New York Times blogs and Roads & Kingdoms, amongst others. Idil completed her Bachelors in Writing at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts, and her Masters in Digital Media at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.



Lee-Sean Huang is the co-founder and creative director of Foossa, a design and social innovation enterprise. He has worked on five continents and has collaborated with organizations including the United Nations, the SEIU, the Dalai Lama Center, the Packard Foundation and the Guggenheim Museum. Lee-Sean is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design for Social Innovation and has lectured at the New School, NYU, the College of Staten Island, UCLA, and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He also teaches capoeira at the New York Capoeira Center and is a founding trustee and treasurer of the Awesome Foundation New York.



Maricarmen is an experience designer, strategist and mind-body artist born in Mexico City and currently living in San Francisco. With an MBA in Design Strategy and over ten years of teaching and practicing yoga, her work blends the lines between cultural anthropology, creative direction and innovation strategy. She splits her time between two companies: As the co-founder of Metapattern, an emergent design studio, she leads collaborative design sessions in the edge of humanistic futurism. As the founder of Memetica, she privately coaches and leads workshops in yoga, mindfulness, and creative expression for companies and leading innovators.



Nathan is a journalist and author who covers religious and political movements in the United States. As well as writing for Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, The Nation, the Guardian, Vice, Al Jazeera America and many other outlets, Nathan serves as an editor for two online publications: Waging Nonviolence and Killing the Buddha. He is also an editor-at-large for the Social Science Research Council's online forum The Immanent Frame and a contributing editor for the news website Religion Dispatches. He has published two books: Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse (University of California Press, September 2013) and God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet (University of California Press, June 2013).



Tom is an adventurer, writer and journalist. Tom’s writing focuses on a combination of philosophy and travel, with a specific interest in Eastern religions and the renewable energy, waste and recycling sectors. His work has appeared in The Idler among other publications.



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Beautiful extras in the margins immerse you in the world of each book.

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