Leif Utne

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"Leif Utne is a technologist, journalist, activist, musician and social media evangelist. As VP of Community Development at Zanby, he brings a rich background in journalism, social marketing, group facilitation and online community strategy.

"At Zanby, Utne helps to bring this groundbreaking social media platform to the world of mission-driven nonprofits, social enterprises, and governments. Like other social networking tools, Zanby allows organizations to create groups for their members/customers/employees. What’s unique about Zanby is its “group families” architecture, which enables companies and organizations to efficiently manage groups of related groups.

"Before joining Zanby, Leif was VP of Marketing at Calgary, Alberta-based startup QuantumShift TV, a solution-oriented Web video network, where monthly traffic grew under his tenure from zero to over 90,000 monthly video streams.

"Prior to QuantumShift, Leif was Publisher of Worldchanging.com, managing business development for this award-winning online magazine, one of the most widely-read blogs about sustainable design and innovation. Leif was also a contributor to the site’s popular 2006 book, Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century.

"Before Worldchanging, Leif spent eight years in Minneapolis at Utne Reader, the acclaimed magazine founded in 1983 by his father, Eric Utne. There, he wore a variety of hats including staff writer, online editor, and co-director of the Webby award-winning online community Café Utne. In 2000, Leif cofounded Utne Communities, a consultancy providing white-label online community solutions for various clients in the media, arts, and education sectors. In 2006, he launched the magazine’s UtneCast podcast, a biweekly interview show featuring independent perspectives on politics, culture and ideas.

"Leif speaks and writes frequently on topics like social technology, media reform, dialogue, activism, sustainable business and Latin American politics. He has presented as both a panelist and keynoter at dozens of conferences, including Media that Matters, Web of Change, PlaNetwork, Bioneers, Journalism that Matters, NTEN, American Institute of Architects, Society of Professional Journalists, the Tallberg Forum and many others. In 2001, he was named a “New Media Hero” by AlterNet.org, and his article “Don’t Cry for Argentina” was picked as one of Project Censored’s Top 25 Underreported Stories of 2003.

"In 2004, Leif cofounded the Let's Talk America project, a nationwide dialogue initiative aimed at healing the political chasm in the United States through conversations that bridge ideological divides.

"Leif has served on numerous non-profit boards, including most recently The UpTake, a video citizen journalism project named by the Center for Public Integrity as the top political website of 2008.

"Leif lives in a cohousing community on Bainbridge Island, WA, with his wife, Cilla, and their son, Mateo." [1]


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  1. leifutne About, organizational web page, accessed February 26, 2013.
  2. Green Tea Party Manifesto Home, organizational web page, accessed February 26, 2013.