Jonah Sachs

Award-Winning Social Change Pioneer and Storytelling & Creativity Expert

“Jonah was a dynamic speaker. He brought to life the importance of authentic storytelling.”  —Microsoft

“Jonah is responsible for some of the most popular and respected viral messages of all time.” —Dan Heath

Jonah Sachs speaks to Fortune 500 companies, cutting-edge entrepreneurs, international organizations and small businesses around the world, guiding them on how they can break patterns and make new connections to create powerful, meaningful, and radical change. He is an award-winning, internationally recognized author, social change pioneer, and viral marketing trailblazer whose work helped spur the 21st century values revolution. His pioneering new approaches to digital media were critical in bringing the ideals of social change—such as equity, empowerment, responsibility, transparency, and advocacy—to the forefront of business and popular culture. Sachs is a sought-after business keynote speaker for his expertise in storytelling and creativity. A master storyteller, he creates a unique and intimate connection with his audiences, channeling the wisdom of thinkers from across disciplines and drawing on cutting edge research and spellbinding anecdotes to tell stories of profound change. Sachs has spoken and presented at events including TEDx, Salesforce’s Dreamforce, South By Southwest, and Sundance Film Festival, as well as at companies including Microsoft, Pepsi, GoDaddy, and LinkedIn. His talks have helped people lasso their creativity, tap into the art of storytelling, and change mindset to create breakthrough ideas.

Sachs is the author of the best-selling Winning the Story Wars and Unsafe Thinking: How to be Nimble and Bold When You Need It Most (April, 2018). For his work, Sachs was named by Fast Company as one of 50 people offering hope for the planet. He was three times awarded “Best Ofs” at the South by Southwest digital festival, has earned multiple Webby Awards and pens a column for Fast Company. Sachs’s work and opinions have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, The Daily Show, FOX News, BBC, Sundance Film Festival, and NPR.

In his Unsafe Thinking talks Sachs explains to audiences the science and practice of breakthrough creativity and mindset change for individuals and companies facing a world of rapid change. He shows how we can change ourselves in order to better change our businesses and the world. In his Winning the Story Wars talks Sachs reveals how the art of storytelling can be learned and leveraged to accelerate the growth of a business or movement in today’s noisy media landscape. He also explains how to harness classic patterns of stories and myths for today’s business world.

Jonah Sachs exploded into the business world and rose to prominence in the early 2000s by creating some of the world’s first, and still most heralded, viral digital marketing videos. As founder and CEO of Free Range Studios, Sachs created watershed viral campaigns, like Amnesty International’s awareness-raising video on blood diamonds which was seen by 20 million people and delivered by to every member of congress, helping drive the passage of the Clean Diamond Act.

Sachs later conceived of and created “The Story of Stuff,” which, viewed by over 60 million people, marked a turning point in the fight to educate people about the environmental and social impact of consumer goods. He went onto to create groundbreaking campaigns for Greenpeace, Human Rights Campaigns and the ACLU, as well as consumer brands including Microsoft, Pepsi, and L’Oreal.

Jonah Sachs lives with his family in Oakland, California.

Praise for Jonah Sachs’s Talks

“Jonah was a dynamic speaker. He brought to life the importance of authentic storytelling.”

—Microsoft

“Jonah was an absolute highlight for our conference on storytelling. . . As soon as he stepped on stage, Jonah engaged the audience and helped build the critical skill of storytelling for all levels of our marketing team”

—PepsiCo Canada

“Jonah Sachs visited our office to talk to our global leadership team about his brand-new book, Unsafe Thinking: How to be Nimble and Bold When You Need It Most. In his book, Sachs argues that safe thinking is the opposite of creative thinking, and that discomfort is the surest route to positive change. He told­­­ us the same thing we tell our clients: that in a world of constant motion, companies can’t afford to shy away from big, bold action. . . I think Sachs is right: Unsafe thinking means better thinking, and unsafe leadership means better leadership.”

—Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO WE Communications

“Jonah’s keynote was provocative, inspiring and provided a touchstone that our marketing conference attendees revisited, not only during the event itself, but for months afterward. The best testimonial that I can offer is that my company hired Jonah to present a keynote and workshops at a subsequent event; he’s personable, professional and actually does tailor his content to his audiences.”

—National Co-Op Grocers

“Jonah’s talk on ‘Transforming the Way We Tell Stories’ was relevant, compelling and resonated with our audience. It was a huge hit and scored one of the highest speaker ratings at the conference.”

—American Marketing Association, Vancouver

“Sometimes the value of a presentation can be measured by how in-depth and comprehensive the questions are following a presentation. If trust and credibility are built during the talk, participants are more willing to seek specific feedback from the presenter. In this case the questions and discussion following were almost as compelling as the presentation itself.”

—VSP Global

Praise for Unsafe Thinking

Unsafe Thinking delivers an array of fresh insights on creativity, motivation, and staying in ‘flow.’ Packed with powerful case studies, it will propel you out of your rut and onto a path of better, sharper thinking.”

—Daniel H. Pink, author of When and To Sell is Human

“Jonah Sachs is a creator, with the scars to prove it, who has written a deeply insightful book for creators that only a creator could write.”

—Peter Sims, founder & CEO, Parliament, Inc., and Author, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

“The most important skill in today’s world is the ability to change yourself. Unsafe Thinking is a practical and truly entertaining roadmap to how to break old habits to become more creative and productive. It’s a must read for anyone facing a changing world.”

—Jonah Berger, author of the New York Times best-seller Contagious

“Too bad I didn’t have Unsafe Thinking at a whole slew of critical moments during my career—times when I was afraid to challenge the status quo, when I got stuck in creative ruts, and stopped trusting the power of my intuition. I love the way Jonah Sachs counsels us to pursue ‘intelligent disobedience’ and to practice ‘unsafe thinking’ in order to change with the times and remain at the top of our creative game. These are fantastic, mind-opening and courage-stimulating concepts that can make a difference for anyone involved in business, leadership, the arts, or just daily living.”

—Elizabeth Lesser, Cofounder Omega Institute, author of the New York Times best-selling Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

“From entrepreneur and empowerment marketer, Jonah Sachs, comes a blazingly original book that will help any business/human bust free from losing thought patterns. In crisp, breezy prose, Sachs details winning strategies from explorers and business organizations through history. Then he chronicles a step-by-step plan to help you find the gold buried in your own mind. I found the stories themselves riveting, and each chapter ends with a checklist to pocket for future use. Unsafe Thinking is destined to become a cult book in the mode of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Blink. A classic in creative thought.”

—Mary Karr, New York Times best-selling author of The Liars’ Club & Lit

“Outside the bounds of safety lie our most needed—and most inventive–breakthrough and breathtaking ideas. Unsafe Thinking is not just a brilliant manifesto and manual for bold originality, but a personal challenge for each of us to be courageously and consciously creative.”

—Justina Chen, author of North of Beautiful, co-founder and story strategist, Upstart Agency, and author of The Art of Inspiration: Lead Your Best Story

Praise for Winning the Story Wars

“Great leaders transform the world through stories that inspire hope, stability, trust, compassion, and authenticity. This important and thought-provoking book shows that leadership in marketing will require the living and telling of such stories as well.”

—Deepak Chopra, founder, The Chopra Foundation

“Jonah Sachs knows stories. He’s responsible for some of the most popular and respected viral messages of all time: The Story of StuffThe MeatrixGrocery Store Wars, and others. This book is a storytelling call to arms, an appeal to tell the stories that matter. So read Winning the Story Wars—and join the fray.”

—Dan Heath, co-author, Switch and Made to Stick

“History is written by the winners. And as Jonah Sachs makes abundantly clear, it is now being written by the marketers, the new mythmakers of our time. Whatever your product or your cause, if you want it to succeed, read this wise and enlightening book.”

—Nick Coe, CEO, Bath & Body Works; former President, Land’s End

Winning the Story Wars will convince you that storytelling is the most powerful way to move people to action. And it will teach you to use that power to orient our world to a more positive future. If you’re ready to be a great storyteller, read this book.”

—Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“We know about who we are both individually and as a society through stories. In this brilliant book, Jonah Sachs tells us how we lost our storytelling capacity and how we must regain it, constructing our own myths and living the truth of the stories we tell.”

—Bill Bradley, former US Senator; Managing Director, Allen & Company

“In the current maelstrom of media babble and corporate deceit, Jonah Sachs makes sense where none appears to exist. Winning the Story Wars explains why we respond to lies—whether in political or product ads, campaigns or speeches—and how truth ultimately trumps all. This remarkable book delivers on that rare promise of changing how you see the world.”

—Paul Hawken, author, The Ecology of Commerce and Blessed Unrest