John S. Johnson
Founder and Director, Harmony Institute
John Johnson is the founder and chairperson of the Pacific Foundation, which funds innovation in the arts, environment and social justice. He is the chairperson and co-founder of buzzfeed.com, a startup company that detects and accelerates on-line buzz about interesting topics.
John’s background in the non-profit sector includes conceiving of and founding such well regarded institutions as the Filmmakers Collaborative (the venerable indie film non-profit that has been reborn as a film fund), the Screenwriters Colony, and Eyebeam, a MacArthur and NEA funded, pioneering art and technology center for hackers, artists, and educators that facilitates workshops for the general public, artist residencies and research fellowships.
Recently, John and his wife Susan Short, also an artist, documentarian and naturalist, purchased and renovated an old hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica in an effort to save it from being purchased and developed into a major international commercial-chain facility. The Harmony Hotel is 70% ecologically self-sustainable, providing many competitive jobs and is a successful example of sustainable practices to a very welcoming community. John and Susan publish a local newspaper there and are involved in several literacy, community and environmental programs in the town.
Finally, John is a member of the Henry Crown Fellowship at The Aspen Institute. The program fosters education, reflection and networking for community-spirited leaders who are committed to maintaining ethical corporate and civic governance.