Joshua Avedon MBA

AvedonHeadshotTie_SquareJoshua is a social entrepreneur, educator, and executive coach. As co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart Labs, a global research and design lab for creative philanthropy and social change, Joshua has spent the last decade writing, teaching, and advocating around the globe for social and communal innovation. He serves as an advisor and mentor to a number of new initiatives and their leaders, cultivating the skills and wisdom necessary for them to make strategic choices and practical choices to build effective organizations. He also coaches executives within established organizations as they develop the knowledge and connections necessary to grow their management skills achieve their long-term career goals.

Joshua’s background in operations includes experience building infrastructure, overseeing complex accounting systems and managing million-dollar budgets. An internet startup veteran, he is a recognized leader in forward-thinking use of technology, viral communication and community-building strategies within the world of emerging social benefit organizations. As a successful business and communication strategy consultant for both for-profits and nonprofits, Joshua brings operational know-how, a strong background in grassroots marketing and expertise in harnessing emerging technologies to the Jumpstart team. Prior to founding Jumpstart he was Director of Business Management and Communication for Synagogue 3000, where he oversaw financial/organizational infrastructure, S3K’s online presence, marketing, publishing, and media relations.

Joshua has served as training faculty at organizational development institutes in the United States, Sweden, and Israel and is currently an adjunct professor at the Graduate School for Nonprofit Management at American Jewish University. He is the author of a number of articles and publications on innovation and philanthropy, most recently serving as co-editor for the Connected to Give report series, and as co-author of Connected to Give: Risk and Relevance. He has written extensively on Jewish innovation, including many Jumpstart publications and a master’s thesis on IKAR that examines how best practices from the for-profit management world, tipping point strategies, and social networking were used to create a dynamic new model for Jewish community.

Joshua recently received his Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential from the International Coach Federation after completing training with Master Certified Coach Damian Goldvarg through the Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles (2015). He also is certified as a facilitator (Center for Leadership Initiatives, 2009) and a family philanthropy advisor/trainer (21/64, 2013). Joshua was an inaugural American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Global Justice Fellow, a member of the Anneberg Foundation’s  Alchemy+ seminar 2014-15, and is a member of the Selah Leadership Network (Cohort 6). Joshua has a BA from UC Berkeley in Mass Communications as well as an MBA in nonprofit management from the American Jewish University.

Shawn Landres PhD

Connecting people, ideas, and resources, Shawn Landres, PhD, has earned international recognition for his leadership in social innovation. A widely published essayist and editor whose work has been featured by the White House and covered by TIME, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, he has more than two decades of international experience in organizational development, network building, social scientific research and analysis, and interreligious leadership, including projects funded by the U.S. State Department and the British government. Shawn has co-authored Jumpstart’s groundbreaking Connected to Give reports on household charitable giving by Jews and Americans of other religions, as well as innovative reports on charitable giving and civic leadership in Los Angeles.

Shawn also serves as a municipal commissioner, on the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission, whose mission is to provide advice, innovative ideas, assistance and support to the County’s elected officials, managers, and employees to promote the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of County public services; the City of Santa Monica Planning Commission, which regulates and makes recommendations regarding land use, mobility, and infrastructure; and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Financial Oversight Committee, which provides independent review and public education related to finances, budget, and audit. Currently a Senior Fellow at UCLA Luskin’s School of Public Affairs, he lives in Santa Monica with his wife Zuzana Riemer Landres and their two young daughters.

His interest in social entrepreneurship dates back to his 1993 service as a White House Intern in the Clinton Administration’s Reinventing Government initiative. Shawn is a non-executive Manager of Hub Los Angeles, aa membership community and co-working space located in the Arts District. He serves as well on the Investors Advisory Board for The Mother Company, which creates social and emotional learning products for 3- to 6-year olds, and has advised SPARK Neuro, Tala, and TherOzone. He was an inaugural (2009) Ariane de Rothschild Fellow (Social Entrepreneurship and Cross-Cultural Network) and an International Nahum Goldmann Fellow (2010, 2012); he is a member of the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators, the Selah Leadership Network, and the New Leaders Project, as well as an advisor to the Nexus Global Youth Summit on Innovative Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship. In 2016, he joined the Board of Directors of the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council.

A widely published researcher, essayist, editor, and lecturer both in the United States and abroad, Shawn has focused much of his work, first inside and now outside the academy, on convening conversations, where none exist, on matters of intellectual, political, and moral urgency. He has co-edited four books on topics as diverse as the practice of ethnography; the interreligious impact of the film The Passion of the Christ; the intersection of religion, violence, memory, and place; and a campaign biography of Bill Clinton. Shawn holds degrees from Columbia University (BA cum laude, religion), the University of Oxford (MSt with distinction, social anthropology), and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a PhD in religious studies. Shawn holds advanced certification from 21/64 as a consultant/trainer in multigenerational family philanthropy and is certified as a facilitator by the Center for Leadership Initiatives. Shawn was a 2015-16 California Connections Fellow of the Southern California Leadership Network, which in 2017 selected him as a 30th anniversary “30-in-30” alumni honoree.

Shawn’s leadership in faith-based social innovation and his ground-breaking research at Jumpstart on religion and giving have earned wide recognition in major print, online, and specialty media, including The Chronicle of Philanthropy,, and FastCo.EXIST. Just a year after Jumpstart’s launch, the Forward named Shawn to its list of the 50 most influential American Jewish leaders, calling him “an essential thinker in explaining the new Jewish spirituality and culture.” The Obama White House featured him as a “spotlight innovator” and speaker at its 2012 Faith-based Social Innovators Conference.

Other recognitions include a 2012 Ted Comet Exemplar Award, given once every four years by the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America and the World Council of Jewish Communal Service for “outstanding leadership and furthering international cooperation benefiting the Jewish people.” In 2013, Los Angeles’s Liberty Hill Foundation awarded him its NextGen Leadership Award, given each year to an inspirational leader who invests time and raises funds to advance social justice in Los Angeles. Jewcy named him to the “Big Jewcy 100” in 2011.

Previously Shawn served as Director of Research for Synagogue 3000, where he managed the launch of the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute, launched the widely read S3K Reports series and Synablog, and conceived S3K’s Jewish Emergent Initiative. He has taught at UC Santa Barbara, the University of Judaism (now the American Jewish University), Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; and he has held visiting research appointments at UC Los Angeles’s Center for Jewish Studies, the University of Judaism’s Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, and the Institute for Jewish and Community Research/Be’chol Lashon.

Shawn is a former member, and three-time chair, of the City of Santa Monica Social Services Commission. A former charter co-chair of the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network Leadership Council, he was founding chair of the Tikkun (social justice) pillar on IKAR’s Leadership Council, helped found the Selah Network’s national leadership team, served on the Steering Committee for AJC ACCESS Los Angeles, and advised NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and of the Sh’ma Advisory Board. Shawn served for six years on the advisory board of Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (which he chaired) and the board of directors of Keshet, where he remains an advisor. He also served on the Program Committee for the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest learned society and professional association for teaching, research, and the public understanding of religion, and currently is a member of its Applied Religious Studies Committee.

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