Welcome to your monthly dose of brain food—a selection of articles, books, artists, TV shows, songs and podcasts that we can’t stop thinking about.

Autumn always feels like the “get serious” season of the year. It’s a time for deep thinking, and a shift towards introspection and “what’s next” conversations. This month’s Brain Food is ideal for those looking to create space for big ideas to happen.

Image: hbr.org

The Big Idea From Melinda Gates

“Gender Equality is Within Our Reach,” Melinda Gates’ recent feature in Harvard Business Review reveals her goals to expand women’s power and influence in society. Her strategy includes: dismantling barriers, fast-track advancement, and amplify external pressure. Read more about what Gates plans to fund and invest in, and how you can get involved.


The holiday shopping season is around the corner. This year, we’re making our wish list on Olivela.com, a retail concept started by Stacey Boyd after she joined Malala Yousafzai on a visit to refugee camps in Africa. From that visit, Olivela was born, giving back 20% of proceeds to support causes like the Malala Fund and CARE, with the goal to defeat poverty and achieve social justice. So far, 170,345 days of school have been donated through purchases.

Image: Olivela

Image: Wikimedia

Female Artists Made Little Progress in Museums Since 2008

Let this motivate you to support artists of the female and female-identifying genders. While there is a general “sense” that gender equity has increased in the art world—lots of high-profile solo shows, grants awarded, women-themed exhibitions—the New York Times reports that this assumption is not backed by recent data, which shows that in the last decade only 11% of art acquired by the country’s top museums for permanent collections was by women. Keep reading for details, and next time you are at a museum, use one of those handy comment cards to let your voice be heard.

King Princess

Queer, indie-pop sensation King Princess is on our guilty-pleasures repeat mix, and you can immediately tell that music is in her veins. Born and raised in Brooklyn, her lush vocals were discovered at a young age when her father, recording engineer Oliver Straus, put her in the studio to sing for tracks. The musical prodigy also learned how to play bass, guitar, piano and drums and produce. Those skills are evident in her first round of releases.

Image: Wikimedia

Image: unsplash.com

Unearth Women

Feminist City Guides? Sign us up. In 2018, veteran travel editor and journalist Nikki Vargas left the male-dominated world of travel writing to found Unearth Women, a travel magazine dedicated to the globally-minded woman. Part magazine, part travel company, part feminist cultural purveyor, we’re hooked on their Feminist City Guides—like this one to Copenhagen—which showcase artisans, shop owners, museums, galleries, restaurants and female-friendly hotels all women owned or woman focused.

Financial Intelligence

Most finance books make us want to grab a blankie and hide. This one…not so much. One of the clearest, most down to earth guides about business finance that gives you the essentials you need to know to help move your business, and your career forward. You learn what the numbers mean and why they matter. Don’t mull it over. Just buy it. Read it. Use it. Thrive.

Published by Harvard Business Press

We want to hear from you! Email [email protected] with your favorite new addiction, must-listen-to podcast, riveting news story, dynamic art opening or cultural happening and we will add it to the list.