Joan Blades

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Joan Blades (b. ca. 1956 in Berkeley, California) was the cofounder in 1987 with her husband Wes Boyd of Berkeley Systems, a San Francisco Bay area software company known for marketing the After Dark screensaver and the You Don't Know Jack trivia game. After selling Berkeley Systems in 1997 for $13.8 million, Blades and Boyd founded the liberal political group

She received her BA in History from UC Berkeley in 1977 and her J.D. from the Golden Gate University School of Law. She was a member of the Alaska Bar Association[1] and State Bar of California,[2] taught mediation at Golden Gate University, wrote a book Mediate Your Divorce (published by Prentice Hall), and co-wrote The Divorce Book. She was a member of the board at Berkeley Systems and its Vice President of Marketing. Blades created many of the box designs for the early Berkeley Systems products such as Stepping Out and After Dark based on her original collage-art.

Since May 2005, she has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

In 2006, Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner co-authored The Motherhood Manifesto[3] and co-founded the organization MomsRising, dedicated to "bringing millions of people, who all share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America, together as a non-partisan force."

In 2010 Blades and Nanette Fondas co-authored The Custom-Fit Workplace[4] published by Wiley. A practical guide for making the workplace more profitable and a better fit for employees, the book describes work practices like flexible work, virtual work, high-commitment work, non-linear career paths and babies at work. MomsRising[5] launched a companion to the book on Labor Day 2010 to encourage supporters of custom-fit work environments to join the conversation about transforming work culture.

In 2011, Blades co-founded Living Room Conversations ( in an effort to bring both sides of the political spectrum together to discuss individual issues in a comfortable environment. Based on five basic rules of discourse, Living Room Conversations have been held on a variety of subjects from Energy and Immigration to California Realignment.


  1. ^ Alaska Bar Association Membership Records -- suspended
  2. ^ California State Bar Membership Records -- ineligible to practice: dues not paid
  3. ^ Blades, Joan; Rowe-Finkbeiner, Kristin (2006). The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want - and What To Do About It. New York: Nation Books. ISBN 9781560258841. 
  4. ^ The Custom-Fit Workplace
  5. ^ Customfitworkplace website

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