Kate Gardiner is an audience engagement specialist working with media brands to redefine their digital futures. She is the founder of DSTL, a New York-based agency serving clients around the world. She is also the events director for TheLi.st, a platform for women in business, technology and media.

Kate started playing with words in elementary school, winning the district award for accelerated reader points in part by tackling an exhaustive, illuminating biography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. After being kicked out of the junior high school paper and later establishing a conference series and school comic book at Homewood thorough exploration of the media industry via various positions at several well-intentioned media organizations took her all over the world writing, photographing and recording stories serving the public interest.

In 2008, following the decline of The Molokai Times, a print newspaper, digital entity and radio station on the tiny island of Molokai, Hawaii, she started reporting for Chicagoist and freelancing full-time while attending Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management.  Following full time gigs with Chicago Public Radio and PBS NewsHour, Kate revived her high school company (Kate’s Shops) and became the show runner for DSTL.

Professionally, Kate has advised more than fifty media companies, startups and foundations on their digital infrastructure, marketing and content strategy, leveraging a background in international reporting and media management to make the most of limited resources. Among notable successes are the relaunch of Newsweek, now owned by IBT Media; the launch of Al Jazeera’s The Stream; the launch of LAUNCH; and her work with New York Public Radio.

Past clients include CBSi, ZDNet, Poynter, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Socialflow, The Waitt Institute, The Fiscal Times, Contently, Symbolia Magazine and Infoactive.


Audience Engagement

More rewarding interaction with the people who matter to your business.

Digital Strategy

Cutting-edge approaches to how tech impacts your world.


Bringing your brand to life— in real life.


Getting the word out and getting your story right.



News Business in US Faces Big Challenges

Clips & Completed Works