Jonathan MacDonald

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Jonathan MacDonald
Born 1973
England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation International Speaker, Thought leader, Entrepreneur and Author.

Jonathan MacDonald (born 1973) is a British London-based International Speaker,[1]Thought leader, Entrepreneur[2] and Author.[3] He is Chief Executive Officer and founder of Thought Expansion Network, an exclusive forum that expands the thinking of open-minded people. He is also an angel investor in the Angel List Society. Jonathan's recent books, 28 Thoughts on Digital Revolution,[4] and Business Poison,[5] were released internationally in January 2014 and March 2014 respectively.

Early life and education

Jonathan was orphaned at birth and eventually adopted by Robert and Joy MacDonald, both start-up entrepreneurs, following periods in numerous foster homes.

Growing up in Camberley, Surrey, Jonathan attended several local schools. Between 1989 and 1991 Jonathan attended Strodes College - Egham where he was one of the first people in the country to study Social Biology, a subject which is now more commonly known as Behavioral Economics . He also has A levels in Economics and Human Geography.

Rather than attending University, Jonathan decided to go on tour with his band "Watch The Turtle"[6] and achieved some success, almost signing a multi-national record deal in 1992. At this point, Jonathan was also playing guitar at BBC Maida Vale in London and was a regular guitarist on stage at the Camden Jazz Café .[7]

Early career

During most of his childhood, Jonathan assisted his parents in growing their gift retail business,[8] principally helping them digitize their Stock Control Systems and Electronic Point of Sale. Following the retirement of his parents, in 1999 Jonathan decided to establish his first business solo endeavour, as founder and manager of MacDonald’s Music,[9] a highly reputed music shop in Camberley.[10] His contribution to the development of this industry culminated in Jonathan becoming the youngest ever Chairman of the Music Industry,[11] from 2001 to 2002.

He was instrumental in changing government policy during that time, as a senior adviser to the Music Manifesto [12](with David Miliband - and Eric Nicoli ), that ensured music in schools was not simply an optional curriculum addition. He went on to set-up and successfully run one of the first-ever Sky music channels,[13]

He then led a turn-around at Ministry of Sound,[14][15] a multimedia entertainment business, transforming the company’s success and joining as their commercial director. There, he was also involved in converting the company’s assets into the digital age, as well as enabling the multi-national roll-out of franchised nightclubs, including one in Singapore which, at the time, was considered to be the world’s largest nightclub.

After leaving Ministry of Sound, Jonathan combined forces with Pekka Ala-Pietilä , former President of Nokia , Antti Ohrling and Marko Ahtisaari , son of the Finnish Prime Minister at the time, and Head of Design at Nokia, as one of the original directors of Blyk[16][17] – the advertising-funded mobile network. By launch, Jonathan had brought 44 brands on board and is often used in case studies by industry experts

He then joined OgilvyOne, at the time the world's most highly awarded one to one marketing network. He started speaking at global conferences and TED (conference) x talks.[18]

Public speaking

After leaving Ogilvy, Jonathan co-founded This Fluid World and began public speaking professionally. His material is primarily focused on navigating business through constant change. He has appeared around the world at conferences, businesses, schools and other venues.[19] Most recently speaking at Google for Thought Expansion Network.

Thought Expansion Network

TEN[20][21] is a growing community of people who want to drive powerful change. This is fulfilled through the provision of services that inspire, such as talks, events, books, networking, digital content and strategic guidance that are curated by Jonathan MacDonald.


Jonathan has released three books entitled Brand Democratisation, Business Poison (2013) [22] and 28 Thoughts On Digital Revolution (2014) [23] internationally. Published by CreateSpace an Independent Publishing Platform .

He was also a contributing author to Trend 2020

Published Articles include Google Think:[24][25]

Current activities

Jonathan continues his public speaking role around the world, most recently in Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the UK in his commitment to the Thought Expansion Network. Jonathan is also working on a new book about change and disruption, due for launch in 2015. He is currently a special adviser to Trsst, MLOVE, Mixcloud, as well as to a variety of Founders and CEOs of global companies, including Jesper Brodin, CEO of IKEA Sweden


  1. "story-23084981-detail". grimsbytelegraph. 
  2. "facilitate-and-forget-about-advertising-and-publishing-divides-says-advertising-expert". journalism. 
  3. "five-minute-interview-jonathan-macdonald-jme-net-entrepreneur-consultant-blogger-speaker". mobiforge. 
  4. Thoughts+on+Digital+Revolution. 
  5. Jonathan+MacDonald. 
  6. "Musicians". 
  7. "Chuck Chandler & The Gogo Five". 
  8. "local-news/jonathans-new-year-challenge-4847501". getsurrey. 
  9. "local-news/camberleys-only-instrument-shop-close-5368191". gethampshire. 
  10. "Camberley, Surrey, Musical Instrument Shops and DJ Gear". Knowhere Guide. 
  11. "story-23084981". grimsbytelegraph. 
  12. "/3/83/50/66/5/file/music-manifesto". 
  13. "3742171". 
  14. "macdonald-launches-mobile-advertising-project--64925". telecompaper. 
  15. "id=9784". bitsofnews. 
  16. "orange-is-the-new-blyk". commsbusiness. 
  17. "April2008". RedSkyVisionInsideOnline. 
  18. "What-We-Dont-Know-Jonathan-MacD". tedxtalks. 
  19. "facilitate-and-forget-about-advertising-and-publishing-divides-says-advertising-expert". 
  20. Amy Morin (7 April 2014). "Unleash Your Potential: How To Challenge Your Assumptions And Expand Your Thinking". Forbes. 
  21. Amy Morin (14 April 2014). "the-4-questions-that-should-keep-business-leaders-awake-at-night". Forbes. 
  22. Template:ISBN 1-49-546347-8
  23. Template:ISBN 1-49-546347-8
  24. "think-insights-google-trends-research". googlecanada. 
  25. "perspective-jonathan-macdonald".