Unsung Hero Spotlight: David Jay

To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

Someone who skillfully and strategically builds and grows relationships to impact complex problems in unpredictable, positive ways.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

I started a powerful international social movement when I was 18, I’ve seen the power of movement-building firsthand and want the world to celebrate and utilize that power. It’s also a really great way to make really big change happen, I find it hard to imagine complex issues being tackled without it.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

I built the world’s first and still largest community for people identifying as asexual, which has grown to support hundreds of thousands of people in understanding their identities and forming relationships in their own terms.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an Ecosystem Builder?

Measurement and learning! Without a clear way to understand my impact it’s hard to get better, hard to know who around me is effective, and hard to manage funding. Many modes of learning are required, but I nerd out on relational metrics a lot : ) (https://relationality.xyz)

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

I’m lucky enough to get paid for my work, but many many people I know with excellent skills are uncompensated or under compensated.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

I want to deepen my facilitation practice, esp around the ways that I model and hold space for vulnerability. I often feel like I’m performing it, and it sets the wrong tone. I’d love a space to work on that skill, and hone my presence.

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

Better systems for measuring the impact of ecosystem building work!

What others are saying about David

David is my role model of a movement builder. He built AVEN the Asexuality Visibility Education Network and is now working to cultivate the movement to stop tech companies from being so evil. He knows how to engage volunteers, educate, motivate, and support people passionate about making positive change in the world to take action and make progress.

How you can support David

Eager to connect with others in the Bay Area to discuss our shared challenges.

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at SocialVenturers.com and AnikaHorn.com.

Ecosystem Builder
Featured Original Content

Help Grow the Field of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building

Join a collaborative effort to design, create, and validate the advancement of the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice. A small, but growing number of people are turning to entrepreneurial ecosystem building as a strategy to build more inclusive and resilient economies. For years, the leading standard bearer in this nascent movement was the Kauffman […]

Read More
Ecosystem Building Leadership Project Launch
Featured Original Content Press Release

A National Project to Advance Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building

Leaders Across Thirty Plus National Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Come Together to Advance the Field of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Building An initiative has launched to advance the entrepreneurship ecosystem building field of practice, hosted by the International Business Innovation Associate (InBIA), with funding and support by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ecosystem Building Leadership Project (EBLP) […]

Read More
Cultivating a Practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ecosystem Building Programs
Inclusion & Diversity Inclusive Field Insights from the Field Original Content

Cultivating a Practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Ecosystem Building Programs

Cultivating a culture and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a core principle for entrepreneurial ecosystem builders. As part of the Insights from the Field campaign, I wanted to hear from other ecosystem builders in the field about their approaches to DEI, and hopefully identify specific techniques that they’ve incorporated in their […]

Read More