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Projects

Various

2019-Present

SOCIAL INNOVATION STRATEGIST

I enjoy working with values-aligned early stage startups and orgs on business model, product (UX), communications, and partnership strategies. Project areas have ranged from consumer retail, learning & development, energy, disinformation & propaganda, civic participation, local economy, diversity & inclusion, refugee integration, arts & culture, human rights, and future of work.

INNOVATOR-IN-RESIDENCE

2019

INCLUSIONVENTURES

InclusionVentures is a San Francisco-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultancy with premiere clients including Twitter, Salesforce, World Economic Forum, the Omidyar Network, adidas, and some of the world’s largest global philanthropic organizations.

INQUIRY

Can focused anti-bias interventions be automated into product development tools?

Frustrated by the inability for organizations to resolve internal HR and operational obstructions, I wanted to investigate alternatives to current DEI efforts by moving beyond staff trainings (education) into the production cycle (process).

Recognizing this was a departure from typical practices, InclusionVentures hosted my exploration. Like most of the DEI industry, they’ve traditionally focused on organizational culture and hiring practices.

CONTEXT

Even if we assume best intentions, people can’t build solutions for problems they can’t see. Issues around racial and gender bias continue to plague products and services, perpetuating societal inequities from seemingly inconsequential actions that scale. As we wait for cultural attitudes to progress, how do we put measures in place to shift power even when we’re not there?

HIGHLIGHTS

+ Investigated which stakeholders in the technology product development process might best leverage their skill sets to 1) manage tools and insights from interventions, and 2) influence a more robust DE&I accountability chain.

+ Developed learnings into a customized workshop that was piloted at the EuroIA conference to begin validating collaborative bias mitigation models with strategic partners.

+ Created strategic roadmap with short to mid-term solutions that can be quickly deployed within pre-existing product development practices, in addition to an ecosystem approach to building and enhancing shared infrastructure to drive long-term cultural change.

Various

2018-Present

THE RSA

RSA (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is a UK-based organization of 30,000 Fellows committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Former Fellows include Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, and Benjamin Franklin.

INQUIRY

How do we harness the power of 30,000 social innovators and their networks around the world to coordinate progress on a global scale?

CONTEXT
  • RSA US Ambassador (present)
  • Global Fellowship Councillor
  • Washington DC Ambassador
  • Fellow

+ Selected to represent the US on the Global Fellowship Council, a 30-member governing body that represents the interests of Fellows (Fellowship duties are conducted within a volunteer capacity).

+ Program, produce, and moderate talks designed to build community and collaboration among social impact leaders around the world. Events include conferences, panel discussions, and salons.

HIGHLIGHTS

+ Developed RSA US Fellowship orientation guide, a synthesis of the vast RSA ecosystem to help with the onboarding experience.

+ Spearheaded exploratory projects that brought people together across industry silos, including –

  • Street University: seeks to democratize high-level knowledge of economics, political advocacy, and social movements so that more participants are empowered to drive equitable economic practices in their local areas.
  • Art of Change: supports Fellows in providing key insights, tools and analysis into the art and mechanics of social change-making.

Founder

2014-2018

TABLETRIBES

TABLETRIBES was a technology platform that facilitated spontaneous micro-affinity groups for conversation-based experiences around media content. My roles focused mostly on product and design, developing business and social impact strategies, marketing, and partnerships.

INQUIRY

Can we intentionally optimize for the mechanics of empathy and deeper human connection to scale? Can we facilitate more high-quality opportunities for productive conversations?

TABLETRIBES emerged out of the desire to scale empathy, and was grounded in research and experimentation around practical solutions that activate more meaningful understanding among strangers.

CONTEXT

+ Combining best practices in cross-cultural facilitation, evidence-based conversation design methods, and a foundation of empathy feedback loops helped to build consistency around elements like network diversity, productive group dynamics, collaboration potential, and most importantly, event/topic/partner relevance.

+ Radius Project – launched in Washington DC, extending into SF, NYC, and Philadelphia – helped clarify how TABLETRIBES can coordinate and facilitate collective conversational intelligence for focused engagement around current events and issues.

HIGHLIGHTS

+ Radius Project – featured in Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, and others – was a collaboration centered around discussions from an art exhibit responding to the urgency of a newly emerging Black Lives Matter movement. TABLETRIBES convened thousands of participants – including artists, experts, and community leaders – for conversations about race and politics.

+ Civic Hall is an interdisciplinary innovation center that advances the use of technology for the public good. Selected as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to explore whether TABLETRIBES can help create sustained relational organizing infrastructure in political organizing and civic innovation contexts.

Volunteer Roles

I enjoy sharing expertise and resources with other socially-minded ventures. Here is a partial list of organizations I believe in.

SWITZERLAND

Volunteer

SWISS AID TO UKRAINE

Swiss Aid To Ukraine grew out of the urgency to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. Some activities include sourcing and transporting medical supplies and relocation assistance.

SWITZERLAND

Board

SPRING ACT (FMR KONA CONNECT)

Spring ACT combines human rights expertise & technology to empower individuals in vulnerable situations. Solutions include a messaging chatbot to assist survivors of domestic violence with support and resources, and a legal aid app that’s tailored for individuals in precarious and often life-threatening settings.

Washington DC

TECH ADVISORY BOARD

ATLAS CORPS

Atlas Corps is an international leadership development network that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address today’s global challenges. Atlas Corps has supported over 750 leaders from 96 countries who have served at more than 250 leading organizations such as American Express, Ashoka, Grameen Foundation, McKinsey, UNICEF, and the US Peace Corps.

Speaking

Some topics I have been invited to speak about include social innovation, design and power, technology and bias, scaling empathy, and startups. Here is a partial list of events.

RIGA, LATVIA

EURO IA

WORKSHOP
Topic: “Design for Worldview”

NEW YORK CITY

SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS / DESIGN FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION

GLOBAL GUEST LECTURE
Topic: “A Brief Investigation of how Power, Bias, and Blindspots Affect our Work”

ATLANTA, GA

RACE FORWARD / FACING RACE CONFERENCE

PANEL
Topic: “The Business of Racial Justice”

WASHINGTON DC

U.S. INSTITUTE OF PEACE / PEACETECH LAB

ROUNDTABLE
Topic: “Amplifying the Power of Peacetech”

Life before

I started out working in media, public relations, and ad agencies as a writer/creative in New York, Los Angeles, and London, as well as a quick stop in considering a corporate law career. After gaining behind-the-scenes insights to constructing reality and shaping cultural perceptions at scale, I shifted towards founding purpose-driven projects and companies I felt were missing from the ecosystem.

Education

My background in the humanities taught me how to analyze the artifacts of civilization from multiple perspectives. A design education gave me the tools to reverse-engineer them.

Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
English Literature; History of Art; Film & Media

Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA)
Spatial Experience Design (fmr Environmental Design); Creative Direction (fmr Advertising)

Central St Martins / UAL (London, UK)
Graphic Communication Design, Copywriting