Our Berlin fellowship program starts on Saturday 8th October! Meet the incredible cohort of new fellows joining us in Berlin, from 12 countries, for a 7-day adventure in systems, sustainability and design for positive social change!
Aglika is the partner and project manager at Geomarine, a small environmental protection and natural resources consultancy company in Bulgaria. She has a background in the development of environmental and social impact assessment for large scale infrastructural projects. She has a Master's degree from Cologne University (Germany) in Media Science, Psychology and Cultural Studies, and is currently working on the thesis surrounding Environmental Protection and Sustainability at the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy in Bulgaria. She would like to build a platform for promoting innovative and disruptive ideas of how we can make a change toward more sustainable future with our day to day involvement and behavior.
Ahmad is a journalist with a degree from the University of Damascus, in the Syrian capital. He was part of several groups in Syria to spread awareness about freedom of speech and participated in protests against the Syrian regime. He had to flee the country in 2013, to Dubai, where he started working with a Syrian opposition TV station– his job led him to travel to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where he visited refugees camps and shot news stories. Now living in Berlin, he is currently volunteering with Moabit Hilft, a local NGO that helps refugees here in Germany.
Lex grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, United States, and fell in love with Latin America upon her first visit to Mexico at the age of 12. She studied Spanish and Portuguese Language and Culture, traveled and volunteered throughout the continent. She was hampered by major issues such as poverty, sexism, racism, organized crime and political unrest. Inspired to take action, she is about to begin her MSc in Development and International Relations, specializing in Latin American Studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Her hope now is to utilize the new knowledge and skills to work with locals to inspire grassroots movements throughout the continent.
Ameenah is a Syrian activist and journalist from Moaddamiyeh, Syria, who has highlighted human rights violations in besieged Syrian areas. As she worked on her testimony of the chemical massacre in Damascus suburbs, she was a part of a widely published advocacy campaign in the United States. She is now producing pieces involving unique stories from inside Syria to show the face of a country no one can see now. Ameenah is a freelancer with Reuters.de and an editor-in-chief with the German initiative WirMachenDas.Jetzt.
Ana Carolina Falcão
Ana grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is an Industrial Designer. She was involved in a variety of social impact related projects through her school work and started using different design research methodologies and a design thinking approach to creating empathy with users and communities to improve the outcomes of her projects. She developed her thesis, “Lemba Lemba”, in partnership with UNICEF, whose purpose was to improve educational conditions of children through furniture. She continued her academic studies with a Masters in Business Design, at Domus Academy in Milan, and has been volunteering at PACO, a collaborative design studio focusing on design education and social innovation. She worked directly with the Design School for Children and also in an international challenge called “what design can do,” in which they work to integrate the refugees into their new European communities.
Anja, from Serbia, completed her PhD in 2015 on the topic of Creativity Support in Games for Motivated Learning at City University London, Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice. She holds a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from University of Novi Sad, Serbia. During her studies, she was a visiting scholar at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy (BASILEUS EM-ECW), Bremen University, Germany (DAAD) and Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria (CEEPUS-II). Now she is working as User Researcher at Signal Media Ltd. in London, exploring how financial communications professionals interact with information when monitoring news and brands' reputations.
Born and raised in Canada, Brittany recently moved to San Francisco after spending the last decade in New York City. She is a creative strategist with a background in human-centric research, experience design and communications. Her projects have spanned a variety of categories, including product design, brand positioning, and community revitalization. In 2010 Brittany earned her MSc in Marketing in Dublin, Ireland. As a runner and climber, she's fascinated with the learning potential that challenges in extreme environments can offer. While trekking in the Everest Region in 2015, she experienced the Nepali earthquakes firsthand and it changed her life. She has since been involved in various relief and awareness efforts for Nepal, including a benefit she created to help small business owners get back on their feet. Brittany is excited to learn about how design and systems thinking can more effectively create change, and actively seeks to make this a bigger part of her work and everyday life. She is also studying psychology part-time, and currently works for a design consultancy in California.
Carla Ramírez Sosa
Carla, from Puerto Rico, graduated from Pratt Institute with a BA in Industrial Design and a minor in Sustainability Studies. She's passionate about design for social impact, and sustainable design, but also very curious about design for behavior change and transition design. As a human-centered designer and researcher, she wants to work on projects that attempt to further social, cultural and environmental goals. When she's not designing for complex problems, she feeds her love for craftsmanship by making objects, exploring different materials and learning new techniques.
Cristina is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and also has a Lebanese background. She recently graduated from the Industrial and Interaction Design program at Syracuse University. Over the past two years, she has been using her skills as a designer within the communities she's part of. She has been working with Beirut Design Week (BDW) in Beirut, Lebanon, promoting Lebanese design, and also been involved in a dual language program for Latin-American children and an intensive English program targeted towards resettling refugees in Syracuse, New York. In one of her projects, she explored how people learn and exchange languages, and how strangers interact at airports. She looks forward to working and exploring more about interdisciplinary design research, UX research, the relationship between language and culture, refugee resettlement, language education services, and the implementation of design thinking into school systems.
Ellen, from Belgium, has two master degrees– one in Graphic Design from the School of Arts Ghent and another in Moral Sciences from the University of Ghent. She's currently studying Product Design, and working with drawing movies and illustrations for organizations with 'good aims'. She worked as a counselor in three prisons, supporting prisoners through individual chats from a humanistic point of view and setting up group projects. She was also a project leader on administrative simplification (cutting red tape) in my city government– making up strategies, leading projects, giving workshops (LEAN and GTD-based), organizing events and contests for sharing and recognizing good practices. As a volunteer, she has a five years experience as an instructor in youth movements, organizing events and giving mostly playful workshops to young people; four years as board member of the Human Rights League, a supporter of several animal rights and welfare organisations, and she started a Facebook Page to support and stimulate awareness, conscious living, and solidarity.
Erin is an American multidisciplinary researcher, international program manager, and aspiring social designer. In her most recent role, Erin worked on the Foreign Fulbright Student Program, a U.S. Department of State-funded scholarship program that brings international students to the U.S. for graduate study. She is currently in the midst of a career transition and is working to better understand the use of design to shape how organizations, services, and systems are built in order to ensure more impactful social change.
Janine Sara Morton
Janine, from Australia, is the Coordinator for Community Development in Children’s Ground, Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Children’s Ground is a First Nations led organization that has a radical approach to addressing extreme inequity and disadvantage for Australia’s Indigenous community. Janine is also the founding Director of a Melbourne based not for profit, JEM - which addresses social justice issues, such as homelessness, discrimination, and everyday ethics through innovative and holistic projects, led by young people for their local community. Janine has her Master in International Health, through Monash University, her Bachelor of Ministry, and is currently over halfway through her Nursing Degree. Janine hopes to use her new-found clinical skills to compliment her public health background, with the aim to further facilitate systemic change amongst communities where there are poor health outcomes combined with inequitable access to mainstream service provision. Janine has a particular passion for women’s rights and wellbeing. Janine enjoys peppermint tea, the ocean and going camping with her husband and two beautiful children.
Jasper is a student from Sydney, Australia, studying Civil Engineering combined with Creative Intelligence & Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney. Excited to learn, eager to play, Jasper is tired of wondering what ideas could or couldn't have worked; he wants to start challenging sticky problems and creating novel and sustainable solutions.
Lien De Ruyck
Lien is from Belgium and works as a freelance creative strategist, social storyteller, and travel journalist. She is fond of cross-industry thinking and more eager than ever to help organizations and companies to rewrite their stories. She is specialized in 360° communication strategies, innovative concepts and ‘human content,’ which she believes is the missing link between pure content marketing and human-centric design. Currently, she is designing impact-driven campaigns and concepts for clients as Welzijnszorg (tackling national poverty) and VRT Start-Up, the national public-service broadcaster for the Flemish Region and Community of Belgium. Turning slogans into reality, always striving for innovation and social impact, her big dream-in-the-making is the launch of her own creative change agency: a network-centric, purpose-driven agency that guides brands to become true human brands, striving for social impact, bringing social stories and activating citizens. She is building her own method toolkit with 4 new human marketing P's, to make that dream tangible and shareable.
Lucy (Haojia) Chen
Lucy, from Australia, studies Communication (Media Arts and Production), Creative Intelligence and Innovation, and German at the University of Technology Sydney. She is extremely passionate about education, environmental issues and loves the outdoors. In 2016, she received the Queen's Scout Award and has since continued to pursue her dreams of creating a positive change in the world through volunteering with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Greenpeace, and The Learning Project.
Lucy, from China, tells us that she grew up as a 'good kid' and now she's exploring the road not taken. A founding student at an innovative college, Minerva School at KGI, she is traveling to 7 countries to study over the course of 3 years. Currently living in Berlin, she's working on creative objects to understand concepts like nomadism and interactive empathy. She's curious and fascinated with Emotion - Cognition interactions and Learning about Learning. She believes in Design x Technology for social good. She often falls in love with questions and design starting from discomfort, disconnect, and discrepancy. She's also a nomadic photographer. Intentionally seeking serendipity and beauty, she is looking for opportunities in Education Innovation space.
Maja has lived in Brazil, Switzerland and the US, and traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and various countries in Asia, Europe and America. She studied international management and has a business background, but is now moving towards the marketing and start-up scene. She is passionate about photography, psychology, healthy food, extreme and 'normal' sports, adventures, traveling, and reading. Sustainability themes and cultural diversity are parts of her daily life.
Majed, from the United Arab Emirates, is the Managing Director of Bond’s Abu Dhabi studio. He studied Electrical Engineering at Purdue University and Marketing at INSEAD. He has a strong entrepreneurial mind and is dedicated to changing the perception of design in the UAE. By bringing Bond to Abu Dhabi, he strives not only to bring Finnish creativity to the UAE but also to combine the design cultures for greater synergies. He is also the Application Marketing Specialist at Borouge, responsible for Marketing strategy development and implementation. In the past he served as Founding Partner of JSQ International Distribution. Majed was selected by the Ministry of youth to be the UAE youth representative in the 2014 World Youth Forum and 2011 UNESCO youth forum. In addition, he gave an inspirational speech at the Chechnya Youth Forum in 2015.
Priyam is a design researcher and design thinker from Gujarat, India. She graduated in Industrial Design from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad in January 2016. While studying design in a premier institute in India, and practicing design after that, she has worked on varied design projects in the Indian context, from Low Energy Lifestyles for Sustainable Living to Social Innovation in Infant Nutrition and Breastfeeding. She was recently selected for Design Now Summer School at School of Design Politecnico di Milano, which was focused around FabCity: building products and services for Urban Resilience through Manufacturing. She also worked on a project around building new economy and cryptocurrency for the city. On of her recent projects is “Innovate Inside: Towards Creative Prison Industries,” working with NID and Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC), UAL, London, aimed to build inmate resilience through creativity and reduce the crime rates in a city. Currently, she's freelancing and working on projects around her interest areas, which are Design for Social Change, System Design, co-creation and the idea of design from objects to a way of thinking and how it connects to different domains.
Stefan is a product designer from Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova. While studying Industrial Design at the Technical University of Moldova, he met a great lecturer and tutor that has helped him become the designer he is today. After his graduation, his desire to make stuff that matters was strong and he started to do what his intuition was telling him: he activated his career on a freelance basis doing product design and also graphic design. He tends to like to design objects that communicate, help people, and also have an impact on their minds in a positive way.