With the breadth of information sources in the world, it can be challenging to determine who and what to listen to. Especially in light of recent events, it has become increasingly important to pick and choose who to follow and who to ignore in order to mitigate the damage done by misinformation and fake news. We wanted to make sure we are filling our brains with the most innovative, relevant, and high-quality knowledge, so we compiled a list of the top 30 most important and inspiring influencers in the knowledge industry.
Knowledge Influencers and Intentional Content Consumption
When we think of influencers, we the first thing that comes to mind might be girls who get paid to sell fit tea or yoga leggings. We must take into consideration the valuable way that the content we come in contact with can change our perspectives on the world, whether we are accessing this content intentionally or unintentionally. The best way to make sure you are taking an analytical, practical stance on the world is to intentionally access quality content, and control what you can when it comes to the information you consume. Lost on where to look for higher quality information? This list of knowledge influencers is a great place to start. It includes their Twitter handle, an eBook that they wrote, and when possible, a video where they talk about their philosophies in case you’d like to learn more. We hope you learn as much from them as we did.
1. David Weinberger (@dweinberger)
Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder - about how the shift from the physical to the digital is re-shaping the world that we live in.
2. James Gleick (@JamesGleick)
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood - a historical study into how communications and information have altered human consciousness. Includes profiles of information pioneers from throughout modern history.
3. Eli Pariser (@elipariser)
The Filter Bubble - A book about how algorithms are changing the way people gain access to information. People no longer seek it out independently, rather information is fed back to based on your profile and what you have previously engaged with.
4. Charles Seife (@cgseife)
Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes - An explanation of how information theory has become an increasingly useful tool for answering large scientific questions.
5. Julie Dirksen (@usablelearning)
Design for How People Learn - A book that looks to teach people how to learn, retain knowledge and boost their memory. It tries to help people not only with learning but with sharing their existing skills with others.
6. Cesar A. Hidalgo (@cesifoti)
Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies - Using Information Theory rather than the usual metrics, this book looks to analyze economies and why they succeed or fail.
7. David Epstein (@DavidEpstein)
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World - Epstein sets out to argue that those who have a general skill set or knowledge base are often at an advantage over those who are overly specialized. He looks at a range of high achievers in numerous fields to discover that those who start early and focus on one goal aren't always the ones with the most success.
8. Dr. Tara Swart (@TaraSwart)
The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life - A guide to help you awaken your brain and unlock your potential. She has perfected this method by couching highly successful clients.
9. Matthew Syed (@matthewsyed)
Rebel Ideas - An examination of the power of cognitive diversity. By pooling our diverse thoughts, knowledge, and skills, we can overcome the great challenges of our age.
10. David McCandless (@mccandlish)
Knowledge is Beautiful - A collection of infographics and data visualizations on general interest topics from sports to nature to food.
11. George Gilder (@ScandalOfMoney)
Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing Our World - A book about how knowledge entrepreneurs could revitalize American economics if they were given the chance by the US government. To the author, the knowledge of entrepreneurs is what should be leading the way in the field of economics by the government, instead of nurturing it, stifles it.
12. Tim Wu (@superwuster)
The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires - A history of how communications and information throughout US history been consolidated by powerful conglomerates and how, potentially, this could be happening with the internet, allowing powerful companies to control what information every American has access to
13. Shoshana Zuboff (@shoshanazuboff)
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - A best-selling book about how AI and mass surveillance are rewriting the rules of capitalism and society. It exposes how everyone is recorded and tracked by machines that seek to learn how humans behave so this knowledge can be used to sell products.
14. Dave Grey (@davegrey)
Game Storming - This is a book of different games to use to help you problem-solve and break down barriers. Outlines the creative nature of the game to encourage new ideas and insights and help you build a team that will innovate and engage.
The School of Life - A book based on research from The School of Life based in London that seeks to give people the skills to exist in the modern world.
16. Thomas M. Nichols (@RadioFreeTom)
The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters - A book detailing how the rejection of experts has occurred. The open-source of knowledge that is the internet has not necessarily created a more intelligent, well-informed public, instead what has happened is that ill-informed people who have not fully grasped or researched a debate, wade in with opinions.
17. Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo)
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society - This book documents the rise of Americans not just having differing opinions from each other, but how they came to believe in a different set of facts altogether.
18. David Deutsch (@DavidDeutchOxf)
The Beginning of Infinity - A book covering all the major sciences that argues that humans' scope for progress is limitless. The author explains by looking at historical examples that the way we formulate explanations and drop bad ones is how we progress as a species.
19. Brad Smith (@BradSmi)
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age - A book by the president of Microsoft on how they deal with the challenges of being on the forefront of information technology.
20. David Spiegelhalter (@d_spiegel)
The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data - Uses real-life examples to teach the reader how to gain knowledge through understanding data.
21. Jamie Bartlett (@JamieJBartlett)
The People Vs Tech: How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and how we can save it) - This book is how a fragile democratic system, developed before the days of big data and tech is being eroded by the power and influence of those who control our streams of information.
22. Erin Mayer (@ErinMeyerINSEAD)
The Culture Map - A book about how one should navigate the difficult terrain of cultural differences. In an increasingly globalized world, the author tries to show you ways you can work with colleges from all over the globe respectfully and harmoniously.
23. Jenny Odell (@the_jennitaur)
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy - This book argues that in a time of information, and advertising, overload, it is important that we now reimagine what is worthy of our attention. She believes we can be more efficient and effective while making the world a better place if we step back from our 24/7 data-driven lives and reconnect with the outside world.
24. Joanne McNeil (@jomc)
Lurking: How a Person Became a User - The author of this book examines what it is brought people online and what keeps them there. It is an exploration of how the internet has managed to change so radically in such a short space of time but still managed to keep all our attentions.
25. Steven Levy (@StevenLevy)
In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives - This book is an in-depth telling of the story of Google and how it got to be such a successful company. It also tackles the future for Google and how it will have to adapt.
26. Clay Shirky (@cshirky)
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations - This book attempts to show the democratizing nature of modern communication technology. Furthermore, it shows you how modern technology can help people come together and be more productive and get more things done.
27. Tyler Cowen (@tylercowen)
The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy - This book is a positive look at consumer capitalism in the information age. The author argues that the adaptability of online life and our wealth of choice leads us to live happier more fulfilled lives.
28. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (@storywithdata)
Storytelling With Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals - A book that aims to teach you how to work with data and how to use it to tell stories. It is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of data visualization.
29. Cory Doctorow (@doctorow)
Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age - This book chronicles how copyright laws threaten the freedom of information that had characterized the modern information age. This book has a particular focus on arts and the creative industries.
30. Cass Sunstein (@CassSunstein)
Infotopia - An optimistic look at how equal access to information can take power away from influential individuals and into the hands of the masses
Follow them and let us know if you found them as interesting as we did! We’d love to start a conversation. We also created an ebook of our own to talk about how to deal with information overload and how to improve productivity by outsourcing research. Click the image below to download.
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