Marketing Bootcamp

22 Brilliant Thinkers Everyone Should Follow on Twitter

  • ---Shares

If you've been following the same people on Twitter for the last five years, you're probably missing out. An engaging Twitter feed should provide an intersection of interests from thought leaders across fields. 

For that reason, we've gathered 22 intellectual heavyweights in areas like design, neuroscience, management, and economics. Start following them and get your ideas flowing. 

If we missed anybody, tell us in the comments.

1. Scott Barry Kaufman, scientific director, The Imagination Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Handle: @sbkaufman 

The "Ungifted" author always has the latest on the science of imagination and creativity. 

If you want to learn more about learning, follow Kaufman. His research has helped us redefine our understanding of intelligence.

2. Tina Roth Eisenberg, design blogger and founder of CreativeMornings, StudioMates, and Tattly

Handle: @swissmiss

Eisenberg takes the sometimes stuffy world of design and makes it delightfully accessible. 

Of special note is the Friday Link Pack, her weekly digest of the finest detail-oriented content around. Her feed is also one of the best places to track down tickets to CreativeMornings, her creativity-oriented monthly conference series. 

3. Jad Abumrad, host and creator, Radiolab

Handle: @Jadabumrad

Abumrad stands at the intersection of curiosity, science communication, and public radio.

He has 2 million follows on air and 245,000 on Twitter, and he's worth listening to. He'll give you quirky musings on science, technology, and the world around us.

4. Daniel Pink, author and leadership expert

Handle: @danielpink

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author wants to change the way we think about our jobs and careers.

His books — including "Drive," "To Sell Is Human," and "A Whole New Mind" — provide distillations of whole fields of psychological research. You'll find the same highly readable popularizations on his Twitter. 

5. Justin Wolfers, economist, University of Michigan

Handle: @JustinWolfers

Wolfers interprets real-world events using economic research in ways regular people can (mostly) understand.

What's amazing about Wolfers — beyond that mane of his — is the way that he curates charts, tracking down graphics that make phrases like "health care price growth" make some sort of sense.

6. Maria Popova, founder of popular blog Brain Pickings

Handle: @brainpicker

While the rest of the internet is consumed with the latest in everything, Popova is a fountain of timelessness — meditation, comic books, and particularly delectable psych studies all find a home on Brain Pickings, her potpourri of a blog, and on her Twitter. 

If you need more hot air balloons and Zen philosophy in your life, look to her.

7. Hunter Walk, investor at Homebrew venture capital

Handle: @hunterwalk

Not only does Walk know what's brewing in Silicon Valley, the venture capitalist is also hilarious, as in: "Can we solve #bendghazi before it becomes a nerd Halloween costume?" 

Before he got into funding, Walk spent years at Google, working his way up to being director of product management. 

8. Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, former editor-in-chief of Wired

Handle: @chr1sa

If you are a fan of Wired, you've got to follow Anderson, who now heads 3D Robotics, the drone company. The guy is brimming with intel about the hottest gadgets and weirdest science research. 

Anderson is a fascinating follow for the way he crosses editorial and entrepreneurship.

9. Dan Ariely, professor, Duke University

Handle: @danariely

He's one of the most popular behavioral economists tweets about far-ranging issues, from why we lie to the psychological factors that led to corruption on Wall Street.

If you're interested in social science as it happens, follow him.

10. Ayah Bdeir, founder, littleBits; fellow, Creative Commons

Handle: @ayahbdeir

Although she spends most of her time in New York, the Lebanese founder knows what's going on in the Arab tech startup world.

She'll make you excited and hopeful about what technology is doing to change the world, and her feed gives a first-person account of growing a consumer goods company.

11. Vaughan Bell, neuropsychologist, Universidad de Antioquia

Handle: @vaughanbell

Bell's Twitter feed is an extension of his fascinating blog, mindhacks. He shares a smattering of articles on the latest trends in psychology, such as suicide as a global issue and changes made to the DSM.

Bell is also a calm, careful voice among the shouts of "neuroscience breakthroughs" that dominate social science writing. 

12. Gretchen Rubin, author and happiness expert

Handle: @gretchenrubin 

Rubin wrote historical biographies before dominating the happiness market with "The Happiness Project" and "Happier at Home." 

She's a source for pithy quotations, insights into human behavior, and the odd kid's lit recommendation.

13. John Brockman, editor, Edge.org

Handle: @edge

Brockman is on a mission to provide people with "the edge of the world's knowledge," and put out a book, "This Will Make You Smarter." 

Following Brockman is like being a fly on the wall of the intelligentsia, but with less pretension.

14. Bill Gross, founder, Idealab

Handle: @Bill_Gross

Gross has founded 100 companies in the past 30 years, and he knows what people are talking about in Silicon Valley — and he wants you to know, too. 

He also has great taste in selfies.

15. Jordan Gaines Lewis, Penn State neuroscience Ph.D. and science blogger

Handle: @GainesOnBrains

If you need more brain science, follow Lewis.

She cuts away the psychobabble and makes mind science clear. She's a sleep and obesity specialist, so if you're interested in being well-rested and slim, read her.

16. Paul Krugman, economics columnist, The New York Times

Handle: @NYTimeskrugman

Krugman is possibly the most influential left-leaning economic commentator alive, so you should probably know what he has to say.

He won a Nobel Prize in 2008 for "for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity," but what he shares on Twitter is much less technical. 

17. Ann Friedman, columnist, New York Magazine and Columbia Journalism Review

Handle: @annfriedman

Writing about media is not just for jerks anymore.

Friedman's feed is composed of pie charts, hilarity, and the smartest (and least pretentious) media/journalism criticism you'll come across.

She'll also ask you some uncomfortably important questions, like: "Should white people actively try to make more friends who aren't white? And if so, how?" 

18. Nilofer Merchant, corporate director, TED speaker, and columnist at Harvard Business Review

Handle: @nilofer

An Apple and Autodesk veteran, Merchant is now an up-and-coming voice in business strategy, authoring "11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era" and writing for HBR and Time. 

19. Annie Murphy Paul, author and learning expert

Handle: @anniemurphypaul

Paul's strategies on "how we learn and how we can do it better" appear in her Twitter feed, and she may just tweet at you asking if you have a question about learning.

The author of "The Cult of Personality" proves that if learning throughout life is a path to success, learning how to learn will make you more successful.

20. Tom Peters, author and management expert

Handle: @tom_peters

"The Red Bull of management thinkers" and "lover of capitalism" has written a ton of business books, including "In Search for Excellence," and he tweets on business empowerment and problem-solving.

Unlike other members of the management elite, Peters is always in conversation with his followers. So throw a quandary his way. 

21. Felix Salmon, senior editor, Fusion

Handle: @felixsalmon

Salmon is a whipsmart financial blogger whose brought his previously Reuters-centered commentary to Fusion. 

On Twitter he slices apart financial trends, tracks the quirks of media, and makes a handful of fine jokes.

22. Ta-Nehisi Coates, author and national correspondent, The Atlantic

Handle: @tanehisicoates

Coates wrote one of the standout articles of the year with his "The Case for Reparations" cover story.

You'll find that same thoroughness in his Twitter. 

Aimee Groth, Kim Bhasin, and Danielle Schlanger contributed research to this story. 


More from Business Insider