Joshua J. Yates is a cultural sociologist and social entrepreneur.

He has dedicated his life to bridging the worlds of academic theory and social practice in order to help communities grapple with one of our society's grand challenges: what it will mean and take to thrive in contexts of increasing economic inequality, technological disruption, environmental change, and political fracture.

As Research Director of the Thriving Cities Lab, an initiative of University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, Joshua’s scholarly work focuses on the changing paradigms of civic life in 21st century urban contexts.

Joshua also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Thriving Cities Group, a nonprofit working to equip communities to disrupt and rebuild their civic infrastructure through a series of innovative civic ventures. Starting in 2018, Thriving Cities Group will be partnering with the Cook Analytics and Trading Lab at the University of Memphis to launch the nation's first ever city-based Social Impact Exchange.