Michael Maness


Michael Maness is a leading thinker on innovation, media and the transformational impact of the Internet.

Michael became the first ever Innovator-in-Residence at the Harvard Business School.  The position was created as part of the Digital Initiative at HBS, an effort that brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the re-invention of business in a digital, networked, and media-rich environment.

Michael’s exploration and research investigates why innovation fails or thrives in business cultures.

Prior to his current role, Michael was the Vice-President of Journalism and Media Innovation at the Knight Foundation. This $2.5 billion private foundation is dedicated to creating informed and engaged communities and is the largest funder of non-profit journalism in the United States. While at Knight, Michael managed an active portfolio of over $125 million of projects dedicated to driving the digital transformation of the media field. He was also the chair of the Knight Enterprise Fund, an active investor in for-profit media start-ups. The fund’s value more than doubled under his leadership and he continues as an active advisor.


Before his work at Knight, Michael was the Vice-President of Design and Innovation for USA Today and Gannett, a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest media companies in the U.S. In that role, Michael introduced human centered design and disruptive innovation approaches to the organization. He oversaw the investment and creation of several start-ups including The Bold Italic, a digital brand created to re-imagine local news coverage. The site won multiple awards and is part of the permanent collection at the Denver Institute of Art for excellence in design.

He is Board of Trustees for the Newseum in Washington D.C. and on a former member of the Advisory Board for IDEO, one of the worlds leading design companies. and the Media Advisory Board for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Michael is a co-founder of Subculture.