Jon worked with Shift Foundation from 2011 until August 2020, when he became a founding member of Shift Collective in the US.

Jon has innovated community engagement through social entrepreneurship for over twenty years. In the mid-nineties, his early work on economic activism led him to develop new business and touring practices for music festivals and musicians through his work with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts and artists like the Beastie Boys, David Crosby and Wyclef Jean. His work in finance lead to managing branch equity trading technologies for a socially responsible investment company, including early development of algorithms to assist in stock-scoring and detection of technical analysis patterns. Later, he worked with religious communities to develop and implement technology infrastructure and strategies that fit with their beliefs, cultures and daily practice. Prior to joining Shift, he served as the Information Technology Director for the San Francisco Zen Center before running his own technology consulting firm for 7 years, advising non-profits, start-ups and VC firms across the Bay Area.

Jon graduated from Kalamazoo College with a Bachelor of Arts in religion and an emphasis in development economics. He loves cheesy movies and can often be heard quoting them, to the great annoyance of his friends and family.

+1 504 383-4652

Linked In Profile



Cultural Heritage and Social Change Summit: One Year On

This report summarizes some of the core findings of the Cultural Heritage and Social Change Summit–themes that have also arisen in many other cultural heritage conferences and meetings over the past year:

  • Safe Space for Disruptive Dialogue
  • Funding for Transformative Gatherings
  • Equitable and Ethical Collaboration
  • Diversifying Technology Production in Cultural Heritage Spaces
  • Integrating Community Archives Into Traditional Cultural Heritage Spaces
  • Social Innovation and Rethinking Goals and Objectives in the Cultural Heritage Sector

Jon Voss

Historypin & LODLAM at EuropeanaTech 2015

This talk at the National Library of France from February 2015 highlights some of the ways Historypin is being leveraged to increase access to cultural heritage content and strengthen local communities. I also take a quick look at the growing culture around Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums and how data sharing may soon be the new norm for cultural heritage.

Smithsonian Institution talk on Linked Open Data

Jon Voss addresses the Smithsonian Institute and explores the fundamental elements of Linked Open Data and discover how rapidly growing access to metadata within the world’s libraries, archives and museums is opening exciting new possibilities for understanding our past, and may help in predicting our future.



Massive Digital Community Archives in Colombia: An International Partnership Towards Peace

November 18, 2019

This chapter in The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites explores a partnership between the National Library of Colombia, with its national network of public libraries, and, a global non-profit that seeks to strengthen communities through local history and story-sharing. This project highlights: the potential role of cultural heritage organisations to make lasting social impact through civic engagement, methods for designing digital content creation and community engagement along with technical infrastructure, the democratising potential of placing the power of cultural narrative in the hands of many, and how a digital cultural project allowed us to reach an entire nation during an essential time of peace-building.

See other chapters in this book here.

Diego Merizalde and Jon Voss

Taking a User-Centered Design Approach with the US National Archives

July 14, 2016

Historypin began working with the US National Archives in 2014 to take a user-centered design approach to cultural heritage and develop a broad strategy of community engagement. With a focus on NARA’s Wartime Films, we’ve worked with leading curators and preservationists at NARA to begin reaching much broader audiences and increase awareness and creative reuse of the United States’ rich cultural heritage.

Jon Voss and Kerri Young

IMLS Focus: The National Digital Platform

July 23, 2015

On April 28, 2015, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) convened library, archive, and museum professionals to, in the words of Maura Marx, IMLS Director, “advance a vision of easy, seamless and reliable access for all Americans to the digital content and services that will enrich and improve their lives.”  Jon Voss represented Historypin on a panel about Linked Open Data and crowdsourcing.

Jon Voss

From Crowdsourcing to Knowledge Communities: Creating Meaningful Scholarship Through Digital Collaboration

April 2, 2015

In this paper, we share some of the findings of our Mellon-funded crowdsourcing research with Stanford University, with a focus on tools we found helpful in the process of identification, outreach, and collaboration with knowledge communities.

Jon Voss and Kerri Young

Leading in the Digital World: Opportunities for Canada’s Memory Institutions

February 4, 2015

Jon: “I was fortunate to be a reviewer on this important publication examining the future of Canada’s memory institutions, though the findings are applicable worldwide.  The authors of the paper take a bold stance on what is necessary for leadership in the digital domain.”

by: Council of Canadian Academies

Jon Voss

Citizen Science and Mobile Phone Cameras as Tools for Monitoring World Heritage

November 1, 2013

Early research on a proposed project to combine citizen science techniques and photo gathering to examine and monitor the aging and deterioration of objects of cultural heritage. Published in Built Heritage 2013 Monitoring Conservation Management.

Jon Voss

LODLAM State of Affairs

April 2, 2012

Article on the community evolving around Linked Open Data in libraries, archives and museums.

Jon Voss

Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data on the Web

April 1, 2012

This paper examines how a cultural, technological, and legal environment is enabling a growing ecosystem of open historical data. Published on Museums and the Web.

Jon Voss