As the Senior Director and Chief of Staff to the CEO at LinkedIn, 2018 First Mover Fellow Brian Rumao knows a thing or two about the potential that comes from making connections. That manifests even in his role itself, which links diverse responsibilities: managing key strategic initiatives, launching and operating new programs, and developing CEO communications and company narratives. With technological innovation one of the most-discussed topics at the intersection of business and society, we spoke with Brian about his goals as a Fellow and the connection between tomorrow’s challenges and today’s ideas.
How do you want to grow as a professional through participating in the fellowship?
First, I’m excited to learn from such a diverse set of Fellows, from a variety of industries, geographies, functions, and backgrounds. Second, I want to learn the tools and techniques for creating positive social change within an organization. And lastly, this is a perfect opportunity to execute on an initiative at LinkedIn that I’m passionate about—creating economic opportunity for underserved communities.
What issue(s) do you think will decide the future of your industry?
The technology industry is evolving so quickly. On the positive side, that means business growth, career opportunities, and most importantly, increased impact for consumers and customers. But it also means we need to stay close to multiple trends. At the top of the list for me is, in an era of seemingly-ubiquitous computing and emerging applications of automation and AI: How do we ensure a level playing field for everyone—regardless of access, socioeconomic status, ability, pedigree, network, and more? With widening socioeconomic stratification and increasing tribalism, I think technology needs to play a role in creating opportunity for all.
What do you read, watch and listen for inspiration and insights in your career?
There’s an abundance of great content today— I’m a big fan of insights from the McKinsey Global Institute, and news from Axios and Techmeme. Two pieces on my mind lately: AI, automation, and the future of work: Ten things to solve for by the McKinsey Global Institute, and The Birth of a New American Aristocracy in The Atlantic Monthly.
I also rely heavily on my network (colleagues, mentors, and industry connections) to stay informed, whether it’s on LinkedIn or through in-person meetings and events. For inspiration, I love exploring the Bay Area, whether on hikes with my wife Natalie, or walks with our dog Coco.