After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in architectural design and economics, I started working with Ever Widening Circles to help my mum—Dr. Lynda—build out her idea for a place on the internet that proved it was still an amazing world. Together, we’ve turned EWC into the positive media company you see today that is changing the negative dialogue about our times!
You may think that to run a positive media company you have to be a naturally optimistic person, but I’ll let you in on a secret: that’s not me! In reality, this journey as an entrepreneur in positive media has changed the way I see the world—I started off a pretty cynical Harvard student. Just goes to show that you really don’t need to be a natural ray of sunshine to start seeing the world in more balanced terms!
In seven years, we have grown from our humble—but beloved—roots as a small online publication, into a movement and a mindset that regularly reaches audiences of 4 to 24 million people. We are truly a grassroots media organization, learning to grow and thrive in an ocean of online content.
Though I came to the media landscape as an outsider, having to learn the ins and outs of this complex world has taught me a lot about the way our digital lives work, how the media we consume gets made, and most importantly, how we can take control of our digital lives.
As CEO, it is my goal to continue to grow Ever Widening Circles into a broader community—one where we celebrate those making progress in the world and work to lift each other up in the work we are doing. Nobody can go it alone, and I’m excited to help create a place where the #ConspiracyofGoodness can all connect together!
Most of my undergraduate work at Harvard University was through the Harvard Graduate School of Design. There, I honed my design and critical thinking skills around the personal mantra: “Is it novel? Is it useful?
This is an ethos I take into my work as a business leader. Whether you are moving forward with the quarter’s goals, organizing your team around an initiative, or introducing your audience to a new concept, I believe it’s at the balance of “novel” and “useful” that great ideas take off.
After a brief foray into an MBA as an Innovation Fellow at Clarkson University, I returned to work full time on Ever Widening Circles to launch EWCed and take take over as COO as we grew our team. We launched EWCed in 2018, and Amazing World Media—our service that provides positive video content to healthcare providers and businesses—in 2019.
In 2020, I led us through our biggest year yet as we launched the Ever Widening Circles app (which reached top 30 status on the Apple News & Magazines category!), published Dr. Lynda’s first book Happiness is an Option, held our first global conference The Conspiracy of Goodness Summit, and were featured in media organizations across print, TV, and online.
A Passion for Education
While I still spend a lot of time keeping the show running here on Ever Widening Circles, I also collaborate with educators through EWCed. Over at EWCed, we curate content from Ever Widening Circles for educators to use in the classroom. Our mission at EWCed is to inspire students’ curiosity, connect them to the wider world, and give them a sense of what’s possible. We want to ignite possibility in our education systems with the knowledge that it is still an amazing world.
I have had a life-long passion for education. After serving on the school board as a high schooler, I have been an advocate for customized learning plans and have seen some of the possibilities for change that are available in our education systems. At Harvard, I designed and taught leadership curriculum and classes to middle and high school students through the Leadership Institute at Harvard College. As we designed EWCed, these experiences teaching a diverse range of students with a video and discussion-based approach to learning were a major source of inspiration.
Through EWCed, I now sit on the Comprehensive Center Network’s STAT team, which develops and provides resources to address pressing issues for K-12 schools.
A Few “Fun Facts”
- I grew up raising baby moose and deer—my parents were certified wildlife rehabilitators!
- At a young age I learned to carry 3 weeks of travel gear in one backpack as I traveled alongside my family to remote corners of the globe.
- Since the age of 14 I have been a professional photographer and have had a lifelong passion for finding beauty in the world. Now, I use those same instincts as a writer and curator for Ever Widening Circles.
- Most of my summers during and after college were devoted to traveling southeast Asia to study Buddhist and Hindu art, architecture, and philosophy.
- In my free time, I am an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast, a camera-toting traveler, and a global story seeker!
Find me on Instagram @Liesl.UV!
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” —Victor Borge