Zack Exley

hi there

Since you asked, here’s a little bit about me. At the moment I’m starting a new economic policy project called New Consensus. We’re working to equip a new generation of leaders with powerful ideas about how we humans can make a better economic life for ourselves. We’ve been involved in launching and shaping the the Green New Deal.

Before that, I co-founded Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, campaigns to replace every corrupt and complict member of the U.S. Congress with a slate of honest and visionary local leaders. They made a beautiful movie about us.

I served on the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, where I was honored to work alongside thousands of amazing grassroots leaders who made many miracles happen.

A long, long time ago, I did things like organize the first flash mobs before anyone had a name for that, make the first political parodoy site on the Internet that made George W Bush call me a “garbage man” and declare “there ought to be limits to freedom,” and develop some of the first tools for online organizing, community-building and fundraising. I was the first organizing director at when we were trying to prevent the Iraq War, and then brought our techniques and tools into presidential politics with the Dean and Kerry campaigns.

I spent the 90’s working as a union organizer across the Midwest and South, working inside some of the factories I organized—experiences that taught me most of whatever I know about organizing and politics. I counted once, and I’ve had more than 100 actual jobs since I started working at 14.

In 2016, I was a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center (FANCY!) where I wrote this paper about the Alt Right takeover of YouTube. Inspired, I made some videos that attempted to engage people on economic issues in a new way. It was just an experiment. You can see the results here.

I spend as much time as I can reading history and economics. I’m focused on how countries and communities can make a great living for themselves while saving the planet. The first book I recommend to everyone to get the conversatio going is Cambridge Economist Ha-Joon Chang’s Bad Samaritans.

Rules for Revolutionaries

Becky Bond and I wrote a book about organizing based on our experiences on the Bernie campaign called Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything. Meeting and speaking to groups of fans of the book all over the world is one of the most rewarding things I get to do.


I love traveling and speaking to groups—especially if we can spend time before and after brainstorming and learning from each other. Over the past few years, I’ve given talks about organizing, social change and economic policy around North America, Latin America, Europe, India, China and South Africa. The only problem is that it gets in the way of getting actual work done. Therefore, I now condense my speaking each year into two speaking tour sprints, to cities where local groups want to organize something for me. I do these for no speaking fees, but only small optional donations from the hosting groups to cover travel costs. If you want to bring me to your city, email me at

If you’re an org with the budget to pay speaking fees, I do make exceptions to my above rule every now and then because speaking to like-minded groups of great people is definitely my favorite way to pay the bills.


If you’re a reporter or looking for me for some other reason, just email

You can also connect with me in all the usual places. FB TW IN