Forte Labs


Tiago Forte

Founder of Forte Labs

Tiago Forte is one of the world’s foremost experts on productivity and has taught more than 20,000 people worldwide how to revolutionize their productivity and personal effectiveness. 

Tiago believes knowledge management is one of the most impactful skills in the world today, and his online course Building a Second Brain helps people leverage the power of technology to organize their knowledge and put it into action.

Tiago publishes his writing on his blog, Praxis. In a previous life, he worked in microfinance in Latin America, served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and consulted for large companies on product development in San Francisco. He lives in Long Beach with his wife Lauren and son Caio.


Lauren Valdez
Co-Founder of Forte Labs

Lauren is the co-founder of Forte Labs, and leads training, coaching, and consulting services. She uses her extensive facilitation and events experience to create immersive learning experiences for our students.  

Lauren’s background in nonprofits, urban planning, and public health has led her to believe that the world of entrepreneurship and business has a lot to learn from social justice, and vice versa, and is dedicated to bridging them.

Outside of Forte Labs, Lauren advises students on applying for fellowships via her course Win A Fulbright and grad school via her YouTube channel

David Perell
Founder of Write of Passage
David Perell is a writer, teacher, and podcaster. He believes writing online is one of the biggest opportunities in the world today. For the first time in human history, everybody can freely share their ideas with a global audience. David seeks to help as many people publish their writing online as possible.

David’s online course, Write of Passage, has been taken by more than 500 students from more than 40 countries and from companies like Intel, Google, and Twitter. The five-week course draws on David’s experience writing online, building an audience, and his interviews with more than 100 people on his North Star Podcast.

Will Mannon
Course Director

Will Mannon is Course Director for Building a Second Brain and Write of Passage. He believes in the power of online learning to spark connections and create opportunities in the global idea marketplace.

Will has a deep interest in how the Internet is reshaping education and media, which he writes about through his website and Future Glance newsletter. He’s also an avid reader focused on the intersection of technology, psychology, and philosophy (with novels and memoirs mixed in). 

Will spent six months living in China and speaks Mandarin conversationally. He lives in Los Angeles.

Betheny Swinehart
Executive Assistant

Betheny Swinehart supports the Forte Labs team as an Executive Assistant, and is passionate about human-centered technology, supporting entrepreneurs, and organizing business operations systems.

Her responsibilities include coordinating projects, developing operating procedures, and delving into research. She has an English degree from Ohio State University. 

Outside of work, Betheny enjoys testing plant-based recipes for her family, strumming the ukulele, and cultivating her green thumb. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Kurt, daughter Nora, and dogs Chewy and Coco.

Rebecca Olason
Executive Assistant

Rebecca Olason is a Swiss Army knife administrator, media manager, and personal assistant for David Perell.

While writing and supporting entrepreneurs are two of Rebecca’s passions, she is also a professional French horn player and music teacher. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

Rebecca lives with her partner in Southern California. She spends her spare time speculating about creativity, hoarding house plants, and teaching herself to play the banjo.