Maya Ajmera On Influencing Tomorrow - Chief Influencer - Episode # 059
E59

Maya Ajmera On Influencing Tomorrow - Chief Influencer - Episode # 059

In this episode, Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science and Executive Publisher of Science News, shares her inspiring journey. From founding the Global Fund for Children at just 23 years old to revitalizing Society for Science, Maya has pioneered impactful initiatives. 

This show highlights her role in establishing a vast grassroots network for vulnerable children, her strategic transformation of the Science News Media Group and her work ensuring a strong future for the Society’s world-class STEM competitions. Maya's leadership emphasizes the power of storytelling and community engagement in education and youth empowerment, offering valuable advice on fostering entrepreneurial spirit and leveraging storytelling for influence in leadership roles.

Takeaways:
  • Empower Your Team: Hire exceptionally smart people and give them the freedom and support to innovate. Allow them to bring their best ideas forward and give them opportunities to take initiative.
  • Leverage Storytelling: Storytelling is a powerful tool for making connections and influencing others. Personal, relatable stories can build lasting connections and help convey your organization's mission and values.
  • Promote Community Building: Actively reach out to and engage with your community members, whether alumni, employees, or partners. Building an organic, engaged community can lead to valuable collaborations and stronger support for your mission.
  • Innovate Through Feedback: Listen attentively to your audience's needs and adapt your products and services accordingly. Engaging with your users, like teachers or students, can provide critical insights that drive innovation and improvement.
  • Develop Young Talent: Create programs and opportunities to bring in and nurture young talent. Encouraging project-based learning and offering platforms for young people to showcase their skills can lead to the discovery and development of future leaders.
  • Capitalize on Serendipity: Be open to opportunities that arise unexpectedly. Networking and building relationships in unconventional situations can lead to significant support and partnerships.
  • Intrapreneurial Culture: Foster an intrapreneurial spirit within your organization. Encourage your team members to think like entrepreneurs, bring their ideas to the table, and drive projects that can transform and grow the organization.

Quote of the Show:
  • “Failure gives you more answers than you know. Science opened my mind to new ways of thinking about the world.”

Links:

Shout Outs:

Episode Video

Creators and Guests

Anthony Shop
Host
Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Robert Krueger
Producer
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.