Episode 28

Looking Outside Thinking: Matt Klein, Foresight & Strategy Lead Reddit

Published on: 3rd January, 2023

We start a new year with a new way of Thinking, approaching the topic of careful consideration, extrapolation and explanation in a critical way. Joining us is self-proclaimed overthinker, award winning writer, leading cultural commentator and Foresight & Strategy Lead at Reddit, Matt Klein.

As can be seen by his intro, Matt takes on a lot and he takes in a lot. He starts by sharing how he loads information and how he avoids overloading - a process where he binge eats information and then let's it "simmer" at its own pace during a silent walk outside. When he returns to it, it forms a constellation of connection points and inspiration sparks.

Both in foresight, Jo and Matt discuss the challenge of translating complex trends and ideas into something easily understood and actionable to others, without over-simplification. Matt does this by using tangible, real examples, particularly in showing how black and white (and grey) can co-exist in culture.

Matt also speaks to the importance of recalibrating your reality by listening to something that makes you uncomfortable. From hearing that other perspective, he attempts to form an understanding so he doesn’t shut out or attack those ideas he ardently disagrees with, because whether or not he agrees with them, "that person exists".

Matt recognizes that this process of thinking critically can be hard work and often demotivating, particularly when you have to catch yourself from feeling like you’ve got it all figured out. But that our job should be not just pointing to what’s interesting but to what’s true.


To look outside, Matt takes in a lot of varied sources, whether it's publications, subreddits, or twitter accounts. He also carefully inspects an everyday interaction, as a method of cultural immersion. An example is being mindful when you're shopping by observing what’s on the shelf, what people buy, what your local store is doing that’s unique. Then reflecting on what says about that organization, about a collective society, about people. Matt does this intentionally as an exercise in being open, mindful and paying attention.


Matt Klein leads the foresight practice at Reddit where he studies culture and helps brands across all verticals identify emerging social shifts and author future-proofing business strategies.

As a quantitative futurist with a decade of experience in trend forecasting, marketing and innovation, Matt has consulted with the United Nations and Fortune 100 businesses, to venture capital investors, TV producers, and startups on what comes next.

With a background in CyberPsychology and Memetics, Matt’s POV is rooted in the psycho- and sociological implication of emerging tech.

An award-winning writer and leading voice in cultural theory, Matt's a frequent commentator for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Atlantic, DAZED, VICE and Rolling Stone.

Quoted by the likes of Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson, and subscribed to by thousands globally, Matt's own publication ZINE offers executives and students alike explanations into overlooked cultural trends.

Matt is also the Founder and now Advisor of PRSNL Branding, an education platform helping systemically disadvantaged professionals strengthen their online presence and advance their careers.

Always looking to give back to the field he loves, Matt is a university lecturer (NYU, Queens College, University of Oregon), keynote speaker (SXSW, CAA, Sweathead), industry judge (The Webby Awards), advisor and mentor.

When not analyzing culture, Matt’s collecting hobbies including cycling, drumming and wine studies, and volunteering with Big Brothers of NYC.

Matt resides in New York City.



Looking Outside is a podcast dedicated to exploring fresh perspectives of familiar business topics. The show is hosted by its creator, Joanna Lepore, consumer goods innovator and futurist at McDonald's. Find out more at looking-outside.com.

Connect with Jo and join the Looking Outside community on LinkedIn.


All views are that of the host and guests and don’t necessarily reflect those of their employers. Copyright 2023.

OBOY and In This World music features in Episode 28.

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About the Podcast

Looking Outside
Fresh perspectives on familiar business topics.
Looking Outside is for curious business leaders looking for a fresh take on familiar topics. Each episode is a conversation with an influential and original thinker, diving into well known areas in a new way.

Hosted by Jo Lepore, business innovator and human-centric futurist.

About your host

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Joanna Lepore

Joanna Lepore is Global Associate Director at Mars Wrigley. She leads foresight for the North American market. An experienced CPG innovator, Joanna is an advocate for collaboration and curious (but critical) thinking.