Advisor, Pathfinder, Speaker, Global Citizen
April Rinne is a thought leader and advisor in the sharing economy. She builds strategy, guides conversations and tackles the key questions with a wide range of stakeholders, from companies to governments, policy makers, investors, associations, educational institutions and non-profits. Her goal is to help others discover how the sharing economy can create a more efficient, sustainable and happy future—and figure out what to do when faced with uncertainty, or when everyone’s goals can’t be met.
April’s work in the sharing economy has both breadth and depth. She has advised Fortune 500 companies on business model innovation, local and national governments on policy reform, and investors on portfolio strategy and execution. She also tackles broader issues related to technological innovation, such as effects on the workplace, quality of life, travel and emerging markets.
An inveterate globetrotter, April has visited 90 countries and counting (most recent: all three Baltics). Her work has taken her to almost every corner of the world. After college and a Fulbright fellowship, she spent four years traveling independently—with a backpack, shoestring budget and the goal of seeing how the rest of the world lived. These experiences continue to influence and inspire her today. It also means she is equally comfortable with CEOs of major corporations and entrepreneurial youth in urban slums.
Prior to the sharing economy, April had a successful career in global development, social enterprise and innovation. She was an early voice in microfinance, where she led a range of investments as well as policy reform worldwide, and advised a range of organizations from Kiva to Grameen and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a very successful track record in building markets that work better and for more people.
In 2011 the World Economic Forum elected April as a Young Global Leader, where she leads the Sharing Economy Working Group and serves on the Urbanization Advisory Board. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for Seoul Sharing City in South Korea, Amsterdam Sharing City, the National League of Cities (US) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. She is also a director of the World Wide Web Foundation and a member of the Relationship Economy eXpedition (REX). Her writing has appeared in Wired, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the World Economic Forum, The Huffington Post and numerous other publications.
April holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Finance and Business Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. summa cum laude in International Studies from Emory University. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the European University Institute and a Visiting Scholar at University College, Oxford University. She speaks Italian molto bene, Spanish bastante bien, French un petit peu, and enough Dutch and Kiswahili to survive.
Finally, April enjoys taking an upside-down perspective on the world. This often opens up new ideas, linkages and opportunities. But it also means: don’t have a handstand contest with her—you’ll lose.