Adam Rockefeller Growald
Interview with Hope Street Group Network Member Adam Rockefeller Growald, Founder and CEO of Anna, Advisory Board Member at The Happiness Project, and Trustee at the Rockefeller Family Fund
You recently attended our NYC event at the studio of renowned artist Domingo Zapata, where we brought together leaders from different sectors to discuss advancing opportunity in America. How have your experiences shaped your outlook on economic opportunity and what do you think of our cross-sector approach?
I love Hope Street Group’s self-description as “a coalition of the reasonable.” In the final analysis, we are all linked to one another by our common humanity: many of the challenges we face as a world would be diminished if more people would remember that we are all manifestations of the same great mystery. Labels of nationalities, sectors, professions, etc. can be problematic when they prevent open and creative collaboration between people, so it seems to me that Hope Street Group’s approach of convening leaders with diverse expertise is an essential ingredient for meaningful progress.
On your personal blog, you publish insightful pieces that reflect on ways we can each live happier, more meaningful lives. What drew you to writing, especially on this topic, and how has this practice informed your work?
I feel extraordinarily blessed to have had opportunities that allow me to see the world as I do. I love my life: every day I wake up is an incredible gift, and if by my writing and my other work I can inspire others and open up for them a deeper appreciation of their own gifts and circumstance, then I’ve done something to give back. My writing has been an occasional practice, but I’m now also speaking on a regular basis at various conferences and events, which gives me an additional platform for sharing some of the ideas, insights, and experiences I’ve received. I’m committed to a world of love, abundance, and joyful community—and I strive to weave that mission into all the work I do.
You are the Founder and CEO of Anna, a newly created technology company. What spurred you to embark on this venture and what are you most excited about as the company grows?
Anna is an introduction assistant: when you want to introduce two of your friends or colleagues to each other, Anna helps you make that introduction easily and on the spot, saving you time and a to-do item.
I started Anna because of my deeply held belief that the greatest accomplishments are achieved through partnership and collaboration: whether on a personal or institutional level, connections and introductions are what amplify the power of individual men and women for the benefit of all mankind. In making many introductions between my friends and colleagues, I saw an opportunity to make the process of digital introductions more efficient and also more respectful of individual privacy, and that’s why I founded Anna with the mission of supporting human connection in a digital world.
Technology is a tool that, when harnessed effectively, can actually lead to deeper and more fulfilling relationships with those around us. As you embark on your new venture, which other organizations or leaders do you believe have done an outstanding job of harnessing technology in the right way?
In founding Anna, I’ve been particularly inspired by Twitter. What Twitter did was to create a new context for communication: by defining clear parameters for communication, but leaving the use case open to the creativity of their community, they created a platform for self-expression, collaboration, and sharing in a way that has had a remarkable and overwhelmingly positive impact on the world. Our philosophy with Anna is similar: create a clear and supportive context for introductions, and then invite the creative and innovative power of the community in making it a tool for tremendous impact.
To learn more about ANNA, contact Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org