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James is founder and chief executive of Swayable, a media analytics company based in California and New York, backed by Y Combinator, Higher Ground Labs, New Media Ventures and Lowercase Capital.

He was previously Vice President and Chief of Operations of NYT Global, the international digital team of The New York Times, where he worked with designers, journalists, technologists and marketers to build the next generation of digital experiences for the hundreds of millions of people who read The New York Times globally. He also worked as a founding partner at New York-based social change agency Purpose, as a strategy consultant at McKinsey, and co-founded the sharing economy organization, working with the founders of Airbnb.

Originally from Australia, James moved to the U.S. to earn a PhD in experimental physics at Cornell University. He was later appointed by Harvard as an affiliate to the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He is a fellow at Australia’s Center for Policy Development and co-authored a book on climate change policy and economics. Origin Magazine named him "one of the top creatives changing the world”.



Swayable is a cloud-based web application that uses smart data science to measure the impact of content on people’s opinions. It is backed by Y Combinator, Lowercase Capital, New Media Ventures and Higher Ground Labs.

New Economy lab

New Economy Lab is a social innovation firm that creates new digital social enterprises and initiatives, and offers expert advice to leading global and national organizations.

NEW york times

James was Chief of Operations of NYT Global, the international digital team of The New York Times, which he played a central role in establishing as part of his earlier role as Executive Director of Digital Product and Technology Strategy.

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PEERS was the world's largest sharing economy advocacy and community group, representing hundreds of thousands of participants in sharing economy across the globe, winning victories in several key U.S. cities to keep sharing legal and well regulated.


Purpose builds large-scale online movements for social change, including starting several of the world's largest progressive digital advocacy groups. James was a founding partner and member of the original leadership team.


McKinsey & Company

Working with around 15 different clients on strategy, technology and finance projects, James began his career at the management consultancy McKinsey. Clients included state and national governments, global and national non-profits, and major businesses.


UNITED Nations

James was a graduate intern at the UN Division for Sustainable Development in 2002, writing a report on the use of scientific expert advice in the UN system. He also participated in the 1997 Kyoto COP-3 climate change negotiations, as well as Copenhagen COP-15 (2009) and Paris COP-21 (2015) in various NGO, journalism and advisory capacities.

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Studying experimental condensed matter physics at Cornell under J. C. Séamus Davis, James discovered relationships between the quantum and geometric properties of high temperature superconductors, developing new computational algorithms and atomic-resolution electron microscopy technology.



James speaks on digital media, technology, social innovation and movement building at institutions including those listed below. For booking enquiries, contact Tara Berthier at Outspoken ( 646 863-4000).


Climate change & Australia

Co-authors: Ben Saul, Steven Sherwood, Jane McAdam, Tim Stephens

"Climate change is one of the most hotly debated issues of this century. This book provides a clear, balanced account of the science on climate change, how it is affecting the planet, and the policy options available to deal with it. It draws on the expertise of its authors from the disciplines of science, economics, geography and international law."

Sharing economy's rapid growth raises vital questions

Co-authors: Natalie Foster, Jeremy Heimans

"The sharing economy offers an antidote to overconsumption, an eroding middle class and rising concentrations of wealth and power, through use of idle assets – parked cars and empty apartments, founders write."Guardian

The path to deep carbon reductions

Co-authors: Stephan Görner, Liana Downey

"The report by the management consultants McKinsey and Company, advisers to some of the world's biggest corporations and institutions, says that the cuts could be made without a big technological breakthrough or dramatic lifestyle changes, and by 2030, emissions could be slashed up to 60 per cent." –Sydney Morning Herald