Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist. A long-time resident of San Francisco, she has written on geography, community, the environment, art, politics, hope, and feminism in her seventeen books including Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, and 2016’s Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, River of Shadows, Men Explain Things to Me, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school and frequent contributor to the political site Tomdispatch.com, Solnit is a contributing editor to Harper’s, where she is the first woman to regularly write the Easy Chair column (founded in 1851).
Maria Popova is the highly creative mind behind Brain Pickings. Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven of Popova’s close friends, Brain Pickings is now one of the fastest growing literary sites on the Internet. A resource for writings spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more, the site explores how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well. Popova has written for Wired UK, The Atlantic,The New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, among others, and is a MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.