This website features the work of Bob McKinnon. He is a writer, designer, podcast host, children’s author and teacher. What unites all of his work is the desire to help others move up in life – just as others have helped him.
He is the founder of the non-profit organization, The Moving Up Media Lab, whose mission is to inspire people to reflect on who and what has contributed to where they are today. Their first initiative “Your American Dream Score”, created with support from the Ford Foundation, helped over a half-million people discover what factors may have helped or hindered their own efforts in life and is now the basis of curriculum developed by PBS Learning. In late 2020, they launched the podcast, Attribution with Bob McKinnon, about success and gratitude, distributed by PBS Chasing the Dream.
As a writer, he is the author of the Moving Up Mondays blog and two books — the forthcoming Three Little Engines, a modern retelling of the beloved The Little Engine That Could story, and Actions Speak Loudest: Keeping Our Promise for A Better World. – which featured contributions from President Jimmy Carter, Queen Noor of Jordan, Rachael Ray, Geoffrey Canada among many others. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, PBS, NPR, Fast Company and The Huffington Post.
Through his consultancy, GALEWiLL Design, Mr. McKinnon has led teams that have redesigned the food stamp program for the state of California, inspired children to become more physically active by finding their VERB for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and created new ways for youth to stay above the influence for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Working on issues ranging from childhood obesity to criminal justice to climate change, he has partnered with leading social change organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The International Olympic Committee, Communities in Schools, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sesame Workshop, and the Vera Institute of Justice – among many others – to help millions overcome obstacles on their way to a healthier and happier life.
Finally, he is an adjunct professor at both the Parsons School of Design and the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, where he teaches courses on social mobility and the American Dream.
He lives in the New York City area with his wife and three daughters.
In the spirit of Moving Up, this is Bob’s alternative bio: “Bob McKinnon is the son of Daytona Roth, a former bartender who raised three children largely by herself in various row houses in Chelsea, Massachusetts and trailers in rural Pennsylvania. He is a proud former recipient of food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Pell grants, student loans and numerous other government benefits. His educational and professional success would not be possible without the kindness and efforts of countless teachers, mentors, social workers, friends, family, non-profit workers, and individuals – many of whom will never know their impact on his life.
Through his writing and work, he hopes to pay tribute and thanks to all those who have helped him and others move up in life.