Poet & Scribe’s Co-founder: Jonathan Stephens

Poet & Scribe
2 min readJan 11


A full body portrait of Jonathan with a camera in his hand, as he stands in a marshy, wooded area. He’s wearing a green, paisley shirt, a green tinted herringbone vest, and a golf cap, forearm tattoos showing because of rolled up sleeves. He stands smiling, face framed by a beard and a brown, tweed, flat cap.

Jonathan (he/him) is an experienced, multidisciplinary designer & inclusive tech leader with over 15 years of experience supporting a wide variety of client-, customer-, and partner-facing organizations. He’s been called a designer, leader, writer, coach, animator, editor, mentor, illustrator, photographer, facilitator.

Jonathan began working at Booking.com as a User Experience Designer in 2013, quickly growing to Team Lead, Senior UX Designer, then Senior Engineering & Product Development Manager. His open, informal, and transparent working style has enabled him to grow from freelancing to leading organizations, creating products at a global scale.

“leading, and facilitating solutions rather than deciding & defining them in isolation”

As a Senior Manager, he led groups of customer-facing, partner-facing teams. His B2C organizations spanned a wide breadth of subject areas & technologies — from maps & geo, to search, to localization on a global scale. His B2B organizations developed web apps to iOS & Android mobile apps, to XML/API development, improving products ultimately for customers.

Throughout his decade of working at Booking.com, he honed his skills, bringing people along for the ride, researching, leading, and facilitating solutions rather than deciding & defining them in isolation.

He strives to create an open & supportive environment. He works collaboratively, discovering needs & co-creating solutions with clients, peers, and direct reports. He uses his strategic thinking hat to effectively soundboard & brainstorm. He’ll start at one idea and turn it into something compelling, thinking several leaps ahead on possible future paths for projects & products.

“It’s better business to communicate honestly, transparently, and often.”

He actively listens, asking questions to understand the problems & needs of who he’s working with. Having worked with diverse groups people from 60+ countries around the world, he understands the importance of communication, clearly setting expectations on what’s possible & what’s not. It’s better business to communicate honestly, transparently, and often.

He’s been recognised as a leader who actively works towards creating an inclusive, safe working-space with Booking.com’s internal Playmaker Award in 2019 & 2020 — nominated by co-workers and awarded to 30 people out of 20,000 across the world.

To see his full work history, read & connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn

Jonathan holds a Bachelors of Graphic Design and Minor in Spanish from N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Throughout his studies he had four internships — at a web design studio, photography studio, in-house agency, and environmental government agency — freelance clients, part-time jobs, and a full course-load.



Poet & Scribe

Leadership coaching that's generous, empathetic, and inclusive. Simple, sustainable, and accessible website design & development.