I first came across Clay Shirky when I attended his keynote at SXSW in 2011. I was 2 years into doing some consulting within non-profit space for a large number of institutions that were in dire need of innovation. That talk shaped not only the strategic plans I rolled out in the following few years it has been foundational to my work as a product leader.
Clay Shirky is a sociologist by trade but has taken a special focus on how technology, and specifically new media, effects mankind. His work has been prophetic in many ways. In 2008 he hypothesized that new media, and the ability of individuals to broadcast as well as synchronize and coordinate with others, would throw society into chaos for ~50 years. 12 years in he seems to have been correct.
I cannot recommend enough Clay Shirky’s books, Here Comes Everybody, Cognitive Surplus, and Little Rice. If you’re not much for reading theoretical sociology books, he has done a number of ground breaking talks in various forms.
Start with this: