Combining higher education with real world international entrepreneurship and a passion to help others succeed

Joni Roberts, Founder &
Chief Evolution Officer

"As a business professor since 2008, I've seen the consistent lack of sustainability curriculum in higher education, leaving many graduates to enter the workplace without the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to address today's global challenges.

I am inspired by activists like Greta Thunberg who highlight the glaring fact that we are not doing enough to stop climate change and change business practices. She is right. 

I created Evolution University to step up and do my part to help evolve our world by addressing the gaps in education and providing people practical ways to take meaningful action now."

As the Founder and Chief Evolution Officer of Evolution University, Joni combines her unique experience in international entrepreneurship and higher education with a passion for creating a more joyful, prosperous, and sustainable world. From launching one of the first American owned tech companies in Romania in the early 2000s to a recent role as Chief Strategy and People Officer of AI startup Polar Controller, and today with Evolution University, her work has woven in themes of creating a better world through people, processes, and products.

As a professor, Joni has taught over 80 MBA and undergrad courses across diverse topics including entrepreneurship, global strategy, innovation, sustainability, and leadership. Currently she is the Vice Program Chair for Saylor Academy for a disruptive open ed project. In 2015, she helped Kean University launch Kean Online as a course creator and continues as an adjunct faculty member. 

In 2012, she became involved in the work of Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. and nonviolent communication. Today this is expressed through MOREcompassion, a movement to challenge us to include MORE in what we care about and take action to improve. Her free course, MOREcompassion for people and the planet blends the themes of compassion with social and environmental sustainability. The course is available on Evolution University's website and has attracted compassion activists from around the world.

Her new book, Celebrations, Appreciations & Frustrations: simple, yet powerful practice for bringing MORE connection and authenticity to our relationships, launched in July 2021 and is available on Amazon. The book is the foundation for her new online course, The Power of Authentic Connection, which expands on the book with more interactive content, practices, discussions, and videos.

Global Experience

In 1996, Joni set off on a solo around the world trip, traveling throughout the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Egypt, and Europe, and is one of a small number of people who accomplished this prior to tech advances such as websites and cell phones.

Every day of her journey was filled with a serendipity of experiences. She knew she wanted to remain connected as a global citizen and went on to earn dual International Master of Business Administration degrees from the USA and Austria. Upon graduation, she was hired by the US Ambassador to Romania and began a four year journey in international relations and tech entrepreneurship.  

When she’s not pursuing her moonshot, you can often find her hiking in a Florida forest or swimming the coastline.

Education

  • University of South Carolina Moore School of Business | Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien — International Master of Business Administration (IMBA), Dual Degree
  • Michigan State University — Bachelor of Arts (BA), Advertising

Speaking Events & Book Signings  

Connect with Joni at events live in person and online where she speaks on topics that inspire imagination and action for social and environmental sustainability and insights from her book Celebrations, Appreciations & Frustrations.

Follow Joni

Recommendations

Joni and I collaborated together in founding a new organization. Joni's expertise proved to be an invaluable contribution in getting the organization up and running. Joni is a true visionary with great strategic ideas and she she also has the ability to see these ideas through to execution. She has a keen sense of the market and is very creative in branding and marketing!
Jeff Bailey, MBA, CEO, ORTEC North America
"Joni is gifted at delivering penetrating insights with grace and encouragement. With her help, I was able to step back and see my customers' needs and resolve conflicts I had between my company's values and the industry it is in. As a result, I'm developing a marketing strategy that feels right for my company, gives it more personality and sets it apart from others. This is just what I needed. Thanks so much Joni!"
Caren Burmeister, founder, second nature skin & caren tells your story
I first met Joni while she was working for the US Ambassador in Bucharest, Romania. Later we had a chance to collaborate on several events we organized in the tech sector under the "First Tuesday" banner in Bucharest. Joni was a regular speaker at the events as her company Kaleidotek was one of the first tech outsourcing companies set up in Romania. I was impressed with Joni's credentials regarding international business and entrepreneurship and I look forward to working with her again in the future.
Bill Avery, MBA, MA, Executive Director, Alianta & Founder and Former Publisher, Business Review Romania
Professor Roberts is a dynamic presence on campus, well loved by her students, administration, and her colleagues. She is more than a friendly face or easy to work with colleague. She is proactive and works to find solutions to improve all aspects of higher education. Thoughtful and eager, I have witnessed Professor Roberts turn her classroom into a truly interactive experience for students transforming even sluggish or shy performers into engaged learners. In addition, she's just a lovely person who cares deeply about her students and coworkers.
Cathleen Jensen-Gall, MA, Visiting Professor, Humanities, Ethics, Social Studies, Keller Graduate School of Management
Joni designed one of the most interactive and successful educational experiences a student could ask for. The extensive professional knowledge that Joni has was demonstrated during every session of class. Her willingness to share her experiences, to work with students to learn and mentor so they may display their talents was proven time and time again. Joni displays the talent of a great leader, amazing mentor and most importantly she has the compassion to share her experience to help others grow.
John Lasch, MBA, MAFM, Analyst, Deutsche Bank
Joni Roberts is a visionary with the knowledge and skills to be a powerful influence for good. Her style is warm and heart-centered as she informs and inspires. She has the gift of being able to plant seeds of possibility into the minds of those she encounters. We are blessed to have her as a guide and mentor on our path to "living our bliss.
Dolph Kiser, RScP, Certified Spiritual Practitioner
Joni is an inspired voice for transformation of the global economy into something much more human and democratic. Thank you, Joni!
Paul B., Teacher, Educational Collective
Joni is masterful at eliciting your heart's purpose and helping you create a business from it.
Carolyn Messere, MD, Founder, Soul Deep Wellness
Created with