Become a Disrupter by Design


Think of the best conference you can imagine. Combine it with a vacation where you meet a random group of wonderful, whip-smart, people that you embark on a series of unforgettable adventures with. Top off all that awesomeness with the fact that you’ll be cerebrally stimulated and learning game changing skills for active participation and purpose. That’s what our fellowship programs are. Join us in NYC! I hope to see you there.

Learn More and APPLY NOW!



12 Fellows. 7-Day Intensive Program.
Sunday 14th – Saturday 20th June 2015 in NYC
By Application Only

Extensive Experiences In Disruptive Design and Social Innovation. Amazing Mentors. Curated Networks. Mind-changing Activations.

Real World Projects and Challenges. Clients. Change. Sustainability. Design. Social Innovation.


An Awkward Cyborg: The State of Healthcare User Experience

Check out my latest post on Medium about my take on the state of UX in the American healthcare system:

While sitting in the the waiting room this morning for a routine medical lab test, I applied my designer’s eye to what I was experiencing and started thinking about the state of user experience in American healthcare.

From my perspective as a designer and a patient, I characterize the state of the industry today as “an awkward cyborg.” On one hand, we have the shiny veneer of technological innovation, but on the other, we still have a lot of work to do to address the human emotional elements of the healthcare experience.

Read more on Medium.

An Awkward Cyborg


Impacto 2014

Update (19 January 2015): Here is a direct video embed of my talk at the Impacto 2014 conference.

This Monday I had the honor of speaking at the Impacto 2014: Future of Business conference at Itaú Cultural in São Paulo, a free public event sponsored by Google and Itaú with assistance from Itaú Cultural and the Telefônica Brasil Foundation. I talked about the importance of historical and community-centered perspective in the process of creative problem-solving process. I then gave concrete examples through some of the current projects we are working on at Foossa and Purpose, including Wisdom Hackers, Happy Mango, and Catalyst.

My talk begins at around 3h19m (it’s all in English after a brief intro in Portuguese). Click here to view on YouTube at the exact start time.

CATALYST: Meet the Team

A fitness tracker for online communities and conversations? What is CATALYST all about? Meet the team and discover why we are so passionate about it!

Online communities have been playing an increasingly important role in supporting grassroots initiatives in the area of social innovation and sustainability. However, as such platforms go larger and larger, it is more and more difficult for community managers to ensure efficient debates among citizens, i.e. to ensure collective ideation, decision and action.

Major community networks and leading research institutes have teamed up to tackle this issue with the support of the European Commission’s research funding programme. Over 2 years, through the CATALYST project, they will develop and test collective intelligence tools and make them available, as open source solutions, to any interested communities.

Use cases planned in the short term should demonstrate how CATALYST developments can boost local initiatives in the area of social innovation, increase awareness on new sustainable lifestyles, support eGovernance efforts of European cities and even empower citizens and the civil society in debating emerging issues for the new European Constitution.

Help us test CATALYST

We have partnered with the Wisdom Hackers community to test DebateHub, part of the CATALYST suite of open source tools. Join us in a collective ideation, discussion, and debate of ways to maintain the festival spirit, how to think outside the cubicle and activate the thinking body, and much more.

Music credit for CATALYST video: “Daybreak” by Baja Snake/HEPNOVA

Rwanda Reflections

Word Associations.

If I say “Rwanda,” the first thing most of you will say would be “genocide.” Or maybe the animal lovers and adventure travelers among you will say “gorillas” as a distant second.

Rwanda for me is haunting memories and unforgettable images, seared into my consciousness. Twenty years since the genocide. Two months since my trip there for UX for Good. Rwanda is still on my mind. My words can hardly express my thoughts and feelings, but allow me to offer some thoughts about my experience in the Land of a Thousand Hills.

So, how was Rwanda?

Awesome. Awful. Both.

Do these words even mean anything relation to the best and the worst of the human experience?

On one end, the trip of a lifetime and a life-affirming experience for a designer like me. On the other, the mass murder of a million people to the pain and suffering of those who survived.  Twenty years have past, but deep scars remain.

Words fail again. I wish I could edit together a documentary video of my memories, but until that’s possible, I offer you a series of snapshots.

For me, Rwanda is:

Having the honor and privilege of meeting and working with the most amazing people, from my fellow UX for Good designers to colleagues working at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.


Seeing the Memorial for the first time. Learning about how decades of hate bubbled over into a bloodbath. 100 days, almost 1 million people killed.

As John Petrie, our client and host, pointed out, it was not 1 million murders, but 1 murder of a human being with a family, with a story, followed by the murder of another human being with her own story, and another, until you get to a million.

A million. That’s half of Manhattan. Slaughtered over three months. Beaten with bats, slashed by machetes.


The blood and brains-encrusted wall of a former church Sunday school building, against which children were bludgeoned to death. A wooden spear used to rape and impale women and girls seeking refuge at the church. The overwhelming feeling and smell of death, even though twenty years have passed. All brutal reminders of mass murder burned forever in my memory.

Leaving the final room of the Kigali Memorial, the Children’s Room. Speechless.



The quiet dignity of the genocide survivors. The humility of heroes.

Attending Rwandan song/dance/percussion performance. And being invited to join in the dancing. The songs were pure energy, pure joy, pure life.

Goat Burrito with Mango Salsa and Habanero hot sauce at Meze Fresh.


Fried sambaza, small whole fish from Lake Kivu with just the right amount of salt and grease, enjoyed al fresco on a balmy evening, washed down with a cold Mütsig beer, accompanied by a panoramic view of Kigali and surrounded by the company of new friends: artists, activists, designers, dreamers.

Meeting Grace Uwamahoro and hearing her story. Grace was 10 years old in 1994, the year of the Genocide. While fleeing from the confusion with her family, Grace walked by a dying woman clutching to a baby. The dying woman implored Grace to take the baby. Grace did, and raised the baby, Vanessa, as her own sister/daughter. Vanessa is now a 20 year-old woman. The best of humanity in the worst of times.

Witnessing for myself a brief snapshot of the story of Rwanda’s rebirth.

First you have to die to be reborn.


Inzovu” means “elephant” in Kinyarwanda.  It’s our design response to what we saw and the stories we heard. It’s a framework and narrative strategy for moving visitors from the memorial from a state of empathy to compassionate action. It’s a way to turn a museum that memorializes genocide into a place that can help prevent genocide? How does it work? How can we test it?

More coming soon. Stay tuned.

What did we do in Rwanda?

Via UX for Good:

This year’s Annual Challenge will take place June 1st – 7th in Kigali, Rwanda and London, UK with Aegis Trust, the organization that established the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of the Rwandan people in 2004.

Like genocide memorials around the world, this site produces powerful feelings in all who visit it. UX designers have a unique capacity to understand the steps that take place between emotion and action. In Kigali, we’ll ask them to apply that skill set on behalf of all humankind.

As part of the Annual Challenge, UX designers from across the globe will visit Kigali for several days of exploration, research and debate. Then the team will reconvene in London, where they’ll design an original way to translate the feelings evoked by genocide memorials into sustainable action. Finally, they’ll share their findings to leaders from Aegis and other advocates for human dignity.

In addition to a presentation to Aegis Trust, the findings will be publicly shared and be used as the starting point for a day-long virtual event in August. As part of that event, UX for Good will work together with experts and volunteers to refine the concepts developed and explore how they could be applied in many different contexts.

Designer Voices

Here are personal accounts from the trip by my UX for Good colleagues: