Emerson Collective

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Emerson Collective
Logo of the Emerson Collective
Named after Ralph Waldo Emerson[1]
Established 2004; 14 years ago (2004)[2]
Founder Laurene Powell Jobs[2]
Type Limited Liability Company[3] [2]
Purpose Education, Environmental Activism, Immigration Reform, supports Public Policy Advocates[1][4]
Headquarters Palo Alto, California, US[4]
Laurene Powell Jobs[6]
Key people
Website emersoncollective.com

Emerson Collective is a social change organization focused on education, immigration reform, the environment, media and journalism, and health. Founded by Laurene Powell Jobs,[2] the LLC uses philanthropy, impact investing, advocacy, and community engagement as tools to spur change in the United States and abroad. [7]


Emerson Collective was founded in 2004 by Laurene Powell Jobs in Palo Alto, California.[2] Named after transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, the organization says its mission is to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.[8]

In 1997, Powell Jobs had founded the nonprofit organization College Track, a college completion program to combat the achievement gap among students of color.[7] When Emerson Collective was established in 2004, grants and investments largely focused on the education sector. When Powell Jobs began learning more about the challenges plaguing immigrant students, particularly those whose undocumented status made it difficult to attend college, Emerson Collective broadened its portfolio to include immigration reform and advocacy.[7]

Powell Jobs and Emerson Collective were strong advocates of the creation of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and have continued to push for permanent legislation to provide "Dreamers" with a path to citizenship.[9] In October 2016, she wrote the article “Immigrants Fuel Innovation. Let’s Not Waste Their Potential” for WIRED Magazine.[10]

In 2015, Emerson Collective’s Managing Director of Education Russlynn H. Ali launched the affiliate XQ Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to rethinking American public high school. [11]

In 2016, Andy Karsner joined Emerson Collective to launch Emerson Elemental, a practice dedicated to investments in the environmental and clean energy space. Karsner previously served in the United States Department of Energy as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [12]

In 2016, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Emerson Collective to launch Chicago CRED, a nonprofit committed to curbing gun violence in Chicago through counseling, training, and matching young men with jobs. [13]

In recent years the organization has expanded its reach into art, film, and media, journalism, sports, and other creative ventures. In 2017 and 2018 Emerson Collective supported the immigration-focused work of the artist JR, and helped bring Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award-winning, virtual reality experience Carne Y Arena to Washington, D.C.[9] [14]

Selected investments[edit]

In 2015, Emerson Collective became the lead investor in education technology company Amplify. [15]

On September 1, 2016, Emerson Collective invested in series A funding for Axios Media, a news website focusing on business, technology, politics and media trends.[16][17]

On July 28, 2017, Emerson Collective became the majority owner of The Atlantic, purchasing the majority stake from Atlantic Media's David G. Bradley.[18][19] The outlets owned by Emerson Collective include The Atlantic magazine and its digital properties along with its standout events line and Atlantic Media Strategies. The Washington Post reports Emerson Collective plans to move to full ownership of The Atlantic in "three to five years" after their 2017 investment.[20]

On August 1, 2017, Gimlet Media, the podcasting startup behind the shows StartUp, Reply All and Homecoming, announced that it had raised a new round of financing from investors including the Stripes Group and the Emerson Collective.[21][22][23]


  1. ^ a b "Our Mission - Emerson Collective". Emerson Collective. Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Emerson Collective - Overview". Crunchbase. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  3. ^ "Arne Duncan Joins Emerson Collective". EdSurge. 20 March 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c "Company Overview of Emerson Collective LLC". Bloomberg. 25 November 2017. Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017. Emerson Collective LLC invests and advocates for immigration reform, environment, school improvement, and social justice initiatives through investments in entrepreneurs and nonprofits. It also supports public policy advocates. Emerson Collective LLC was founded in 2004 and is based in Palo Alto, California. 
  5. ^ White, Gillian B. (28 July 2017). "Emerson Collective Acquires Majority Stake in The Atlantic". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 August 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Our Team - Emerson Collective". Emerson Collective. Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Quest of Laurene Powell Jobs". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "Emerson Collective - About Us". Emerson Collective. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "The Welcoming Committee". Marie Claire. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "Immigrants Fuel Innovation. Let's Not Waste Their Potential". WIRED. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  11. ^ "Laurene Powell Jobs Commits $50 Million to Create New High Schools". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  12. ^ "Nuclear Power Will Be an Undeniable Power Source In The Future". Fortune. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  13. ^ "Chicago CRED Offers a Lifeline to Young Black Men". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  14. ^ "It takes only 6 minutes to be immersed in the immigrant experience". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  15. ^ "Laurene Powell Jobs Among Buyers of News Corp's Digital Education Business". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 August 2018. 
  16. ^ "Series A - AXIOS Media". Crunchbase. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  17. ^ Sarah Ellison (30 November 2016). "Exclusive: Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei Reveal Their Plan for Media Domination". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017. Axios wants to focus on business, technology, politics, and media trends [...] 
  18. ^ White, Gillian B. (July 28, 2017). "Emerson Collective Acquires Majority Stake in The Atlantic". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  19. ^ Halper, Daniel (July 28, 2017). "Key Dem Donor Takes Over 'Country's Most Important' Journalistic Institution". The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  20. ^ Wemple, Erik; Wemple, Erik (July 28, 2017). "Laurene Powell Jobs's Emerson Collective to purchase majority stake in the Atlantic". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 24, 2017. 
  21. ^ Jarvey, Natalie (August 1, 2017). "Gimlet Media Raises $15 Million From Stripes Group, Emerson Collective". The Hollywood Reporter. hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  22. ^ Spangler, Todd (August 1, 2017). "Podcast Startup Gimlet Media Raises $15 Million From Stripes Group, Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective". Variety. variety.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Series B - Gimlet Media". Crunchbase. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 

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