New Thinkers are changing the world

Group offers safe space for tough conversations


Denverite Keo Frazier has a goal. It is to bring people with diverse backgrounds together to affect change.

“All of us contribute to our society,” Frazier said. “Diverse thought is how we get solutions that are helpful for all people.”

Frazier is a Colorado native and currently works as the director of communications and public affairs for Denver Housing Authority. Frazier has served on nearly 20 nonprofit boards, and is an alumna of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver, Legacy Denver, Colorado Experience, Downtown Denver Leadership Program and the President’s Council for Cornell Women. She has been named a Top 40 Under 40 by the Denver Business Journal and was a Top 50 Minority Owned Business Owner in Colorado, to name a couple of her past recognitions.

A group called New Thinkers is Frazier’s passion project.

New Thinkers is a group “designed to bring people together who are creating great change and solving world problems,” states its website.

New Thinkers are people “who want to do something with the information” they are presented, Frazier said. “Not just absorb it, but act on it.”

Frazier is a fan of the Summit Series, which is an organization that fosters a global community through a series of invitation-only events. Frazier has attended many Summit Series events, during which she met like-minded people and had conversations on challenging topics, she said. Frazier realized the value of these conversations, but also realized not everyone has access to Summit Series events, as they are cost or travel prohibitive for some people, Frazier said.

Frazier wanted to ensure everyone had access to such conversations, and near the beginning of 2019, she founded New Thinkers.

“To effect change, we need everyone at the table,” Frazier said.

New Thinkers offers an annual membership, and current members reside in cities and towns across Colorado — with a few members living out-of-state.

“Members (of New Thinkers) are already doing amazing things,” Frazier said, adding they are the people already “creating change in their own world.”

For a few examples, New Thinkers members run the gamut of business owners, civic leaders, artists, activists and future politicians.

New Thinkers’ events bring all these people together and offer a safe and open venue — some events are in-person, some are virtual and some offer a hybrid experience — for discussion about a topical issue that incites action and change among the attendees. Conversation topics are varietal, but can include social justice, climate change, social biases, innovation, dismantling democracy, impact of culture on the world and interpersonal listening tools, states a news release.

The events and conversations are meant to inspire thought, and for attendees to be inspired by others.

“Maybe it’s a bold statement to make, but this world would be a better place if each city had a New Thinkers group,” said Conor Hall of Denver’s Athmar Park neighborhood. “I’ve deeply enjoyed every New Thinkers event I’ve been a part of. Each has challenged my assumptions and introduced me to not only new ideas, but a broad and engaged network of community-minded leaders who are excited to join forces in solving the many complex problems we face.”

A New Thinkers event takes place about every quarter. In June, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream, spoke virtually with New Thinkers about integrating social responsibility into the DNA of a business.

The next New Thinkers event is scheduled for Sept. 29, and its focus will be bridging the gap between the judicial system and public knowledge of the judicial system. This event will take place virtually, and attendees can be anonymous so that they can ask tough questions to the panel of judges, Frazier said. This New Thinkers event will be open to the general public, but registration will be limited.

Frazier believes we were all changed in some way through the pandemic — but not all that change is negative. There was some evolution and awakenings, Frazier said.

New Thinkers can help “us continue that evolution as a city and as a nation, and propel us forward,” Frazier said. “I feel people are ready for that.”


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