Professor Jonathan Wilson been recognised by LinkedIn for the fourth year in a row in their annual Top Voices list – which showcases the biggest thought leaders and innovators across the United Kingdom and the world.
Thanks to LinkedIn, Dr Jonathan Wilson is shining a light on issues relating to life on a university campus, employability, and trends in marketing, as well as topics in social justice.
'It’s always been my intention to showcase how academics can make meaningful contributions and challenge the perception of us sitting in ivory towers, detached from reality,' Dr Wilson said. 'I use LinkedIn as a dynamic contact list and news desk. It allows me to connect with students, alumni, and peers across the globe and in other sectors. I want to build meaningful connections and insights that nourish the classroom – which is only the start of the journey in forging a career.
'I’ve stayed in contact with so many of my past students and celebrate their successes – partly through LinkedIn. The value we provide each other – and the collective knowledge – is huge. I was once their mentor at university – now some have invited me to speak at their conferences, hired me as a consultant, or even become academic colleagues.
'Ultimately, I want them to surpass me in the field and I want to learn from them as much as they learn from me: that’s the hallmark of a worthwhile education. I joke that my job is to get them to become my boss and then give me the jobs that they no longer want to do.'
On LinkedIn, Dr Wilson covers a range of topics, including branding and business, gender and race issues, cultural nuances, and future trends. His aim is to tackle tough issues and stimulate discussions that attract people from a variety of backgrounds.
'A couple of years ago, LinkedIn invited me to write a piece for International Women’s Day, exploring gender and race inequality in the workplace,' he said. 'I wasn’t sure whether I should, but it’s such an important topic to cover, that I decided I had to. Doing it on LinkedIn means I can reach a new audience of people who will be interested.'
And he also has some fun with the platform. To generate interest, he turns to tools like vlogging, humour and interviews with influencers – all peppered with a splash of emojis. He once used in-flight WiFi to send a short video callout while he was in the air, offering 20 signed copies of his newly launched book to anyone ‘cool’ who could track him down when he landed in Kuala Lumpur.
'I wanted to try something a little different and fun – it was a test to see how people would respond. Actually, I was surprised by how many meaningful discussions it generated – not to mention offers for things like pickups from the airport and dinner invites.'
'It was a great example of the Regent’s community spirit we’re nurturing – platforms like LinkedIn really allow us to celebrate that. We prize connectedness and employability and connect students with members of industry so they can gain valuable practical skills and foster a global mindset.'
LinkedIn editors look for a combination of data and editorial signals to see who’s made an impact in their field. This year’s list comprises 20 names in total, including Timo Boldt (Founder & CEO, Gousto), Martin Harbech (Group Director, Facebook), Ben Francis (Founder & Owner, Gymshark) and Holly Branson (from Virgin’s leadership team).