Five Questions with WE

We call it the WE network: the dynamic mix of remarkable, funny, creative, wicked-smart people we get to work with every day. From client partners to journalists, visionary thought leaders to influencers on the rise, these are the movers and shakers that inspire us to keep pushing, learning and innovating. With Five Questions with WE, we’re taking a curiosity break to chat with some of these individuals about topics near and dear to our hearts.

Learn more about:

  • The rise of artificial intelligence in communications
  • The future of influence
  • How purpose is being defined
  • How leadership can inspire and motivate others



Mark Sherman


Director of Corporate Engagement,
Year Up

Check out Mark's interview »


We view purpose as the foundation to conduct successful business and our passion is to use communications to move people to positive action. Our purpose leadership research, published in partnership with Quartz, demonstrates that there is an urgency for brands to commit to driving social change and sustain it long term. As communicators, we encourage brave action, create understanding of inclusive opportunities, amplify empathy, give voice to innovation that changes lives, and guide businesses to succeed in today’s complex landscape. Below highlights a collection of thought leaders, and how they are defining purpose. 

Mark Sherman


Director of Corporate Engagement,
Year Up


Ira Yankwitt

Ira yankwitt

Executive Director,
Literacy Assistance Center


Jennifer Pawlosky

Jennifer Pawlosky

Executive Director, Communications,
Allen Institute


Shelly Kurtz, Co-Founder & CMO, Giving Tech Labs
Jay Lauf, Co-CEO, Quartz
Jason Hunke, Director, Executive & Employee Communications, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Ally Svenson, Co-Founder, MOD Pizza
Pat McNeil, Chief Communications Officer, VSP Global
Mona Chalabi, Data Editor, The Guardian U.S.
Colleen Purdy, Experience Designer, Airbnb
Melissa Hartwig, Co-Founder & CEO, Whole30

Artificial Intelligence

From chatbots and facial recognition software to personalized shopping recommendations and self-driving cars, artificial intelligence is spilling over into nearly every aspect of our everyday lives. As AI becomes more prevalent and continues to evolve, change things, more questions arise. What impact will AI have on the future of work? What are the societal implications once these AI platforms are deployed? Come explore the impact of AI on how we communicate and lead by hearing from various experts about its boundary-pushing advancements. 

Jean Valin, Principal, Valin Strategic Communications
Stephen Waddington, Managing Director, Metia
Kerry Sheehan, Vice Chair, Artificial Intelligence in PR Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Hanson Hosein, Director of Communication Leadership, University of Washington

Hanson Hosein

Hanson Hosein, Director of Communication Leadership, University of Washington


The influence ecosystem is not what it used to be. No longer can brands rely on slick marketing and a paid advertisement to drive business impact. With the proliferation of technology and segmentation of audiences and media, transactional communications is a thing of the past. Today more than ever before, brands must root themselves in deeply understanding audiences and their most trusted channels of influence in order to create lasting connections with those audiences to inspire action. See what the leading industry minds have to say on the future of influence.

Scott Stanzel, Managing VP, Corporate Communications, Capital One
Jessica Naziri, Founder & CEO, Tech Sesh
Tony Maciulis, Digital Media Expert & Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Holly Brockwell, Technology Journalist

Jessica Naziri

Jessica Naziri, Founder & CEO, Tech Sesh


Great leaders can instigate social change, build successful companies, lead movements and more. They motivate others to perform, create and do their best, individually and collectively. Discover how industry influencers and leaders keep the spark alive in everything they pursue.  

Kieran Hannon, Chief Marketing Officer, Belkin International
Maxie McCoy, Author, Writer and Speaker
TJ Taylor, Director of Community Development, Raya


TJ Taylor

TJ Taylor, Director of Community Development, Raya