We're your language strategists.
We've been honing our skills with language for well over a decade, working on some of the most challenging issues: talking about inequality, abortion, LGBT rights, the environment, sex education, and health care. We've partnered with leading polling and research firms. We've helped big players have an even bigger impact, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Ford Foundation.
Alyssa is a cognitive linguist who has dedicated her career to understanding language, judgment, empathy, and persuasion. She trained her ear growing up in South Dakota, Iowa, and Western New York and earned her professional credentials at Wesleyan, Gallaudet, and UC Berkeley. First an American Sign Language linguist in Washington DC, by 2004 Alyssa was Senior Linguist at the Rockridge Institute, where she crafted fundamental changes in political language for the reproductive and environmental movements. As President of Real Reason, Alyssa led the development of cognitive strategic initiatives to shift public discourse on contentious issues and advised national nonprofit leaders.
Erik has spent most of his life sharpening his political and language instincts. Raised in Missouri and Minnesota, he worked on the ground in local politics while devouring the Congressional Record on the side. At Georgetown, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, Erik built his expertise as a social scientist through work in history, politics, and rhetoric. Living for two years in Taipei, he gained fluency in Mandarin Chinese while observing Taiwan's democratization first hand. Back in the US, Erik guided the Rockridge Institute think tank through the aftermath of the 2004 elections, before leaving to co-found the nonprofit Real Reason. There he helped ensure progressive advocates used language true to their political goals.