Bob McKinnon is an adjunct professor at The New School and host of the award-winning PBS podcast Attribution. He is author of Actions Speak Loudest: Keeping Our Promise for a Better World, the bestselling children’s book Three Little Engines, and the weekly newsletter Moving Up Mondays.
As a writer, designer, podcast host, children’s author, and teacher, what unites all of his work is the desire to help others move up in life—just as others have helped him.
He is the founder of the nonprofit organization The Moving Up Media Lab, whose mission is to inspire people to reflect on who and what has contributed to where they are today. Their first initiative, “Your American Dream Score,” created with support from the Ford Foundation, helped almost a million people discover what factors may have helped or hindered their own efforts in life and is now the basis of curriculum developed by PBS Learning. In late 2020, they launched the podcast Attribution with Bob McKinnon about success and gratitude, distributed by PBS Chasing the Dream.
As a writer, he is the author of the Moving Up Mondays newsletter and two books—the New York Times bestseller Three Little Engines is a modern retelling of the beloved The Little Engine That Could story; Actions Speak Loudest: Keeping Our Promise for A Better World is a collection of essays featuring contributions from President Jimmy Carter, Queen Noor of Jordan, Rachael Ray, Dave Eggers, Mia Hamm, Jeffrey Sachs, and Geoffrey Canada, among many others. His work has been featured in the New York Times, CBS, Esquire, The Boston Globe, PBS, NPR, Fast Company, and the Huffington Post.
Finally, he is an adjunct professor at the New School and lecturer at the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, where he teaches courses on social mobility and the American Dream.
In the spirit of attribution, this is Bob’s alternative bio: “Bob McKinnon is the son of Daytona Roth, a former bartender who raised three children largely by herself in various row houses in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and trailers in rural Pennsylvania. He is a proud former recipient of food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Pell grants, student loans, and numerous other government benefits. His educational and professional success would not be possible without the kindness and efforts of countless teachers, mentors, social workers, friends, family, non-profit workers, and individuals—many of whom will never know their impact on his life.