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Date(s) - 07/17/17
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm


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“It’s my belief that as a designer you are responsible for what you put into the world.” – Mike Monteiro, “Design Is a Job”

Design creates most of what we use, see, and experience in the physical and digital world. Designers, as makers, are responsible for what they create and put into the world.

With unprecendented social, economic, and environmental issues, designers have to decide if they want to follow a traditional route or dedicate their profession to shaping the world and building the future for good.

“Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” – Tim Brown CEO, IDEO

From empowering disabled people by designing accessible clothing to bringing solar power to off-grid homes in developing countries, designers can use their skills to create world-changing solutions and drive social change.

6:30 – 7:00 – Check-in, meeting new people passionate about design and social change

7:00 – 7:45 – Panel discussion

7:45 – 8:00 – Q&A

8:00 – 9:00 – Finish the food and drinks, your chance to chat with the speakers

Plenty of food and drinks will be provided!


Alice Bosley, Design Lead at Design Studio @ Columbia Entrepreneurship, Founder @ Five One Labs

Alice Bosley ’17 SIPA, is the Design Lead at the Design Studio@Columbia Entrepreneurship. Before moving to New York, she worked as an Innovation Specialist in UNHCR Innovation in Geneva, a unit in the UN Refugee Agency that uses human-centered design to solve humanitarian challenges worldwide. Alice coordinated UNHCR’s Innovation Fellowship, UNHCR Ideas (an idea management platform) and other projects that brought new types of products and processes to the humanitarian space.

Before starting at UNHCR Innovation, Alice helped manage external partnerships for The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. She has also worked with the East Timor Mission to the United Nations in New York, and recently served a stint as an entrepreneur mentor at the African Entrepreneur Collective in Kigali, Rwanda. Alice graduated from Stanford in 2011, and is a current graduate student at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

Lee-Sean Huang, Co-founder at foossa

Lee-Sean Huang is the cofounder and creative director of Foossa, a community-centered design consultancy. As a designer, strategist, and storyteller, he collaborates with communities and organizations across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia to solve social innovation challenges.

His work ranges from redesigning the experience of employee health and wellness at a Fortune 500 corporation to helping agencies of the United Nations better manage their institutional knowledge and refresh their public stories in changing times. He has taught senior organizers of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) ways to rethink labor organizing in a networked age, advised a major social network on the multiple and shifting meanings of friendship, and conducted research supported by the European Union to build tools to scale online citizen debate and deliberation.

Lee-Sean’s career in designing participation and building movements began when he was a student at Harvard, where he studied Government and engaged as a community organizer and human rights activist. He later honed his campaigning and organizing skills running online-centered campaigns for Avaaz and Human Rights Watch. Prior to co-founding Foossa, Lee-Sean was the founding member of the design team at Purpose, a public-benefit consultancy that builds movements and new power models to tackle the world’s biggest problems.

Lee-Sean regularly teaches and writes about community-centered design and social innovation. He is a faculty member at the MFA Design for Social Innovation Program at the School of Visual Arts. He regularly gives workshops and keynotes on community-centered design and social innovation at conferences around the world and at universities including Cornell, the New School, New York University, the College of Staten Island, UCLA, and the University of Hawai’i. He has written for publications including GOOD Magazine, Fast Company, and the Huffington Post.

David Colby Reed, Co-founder @ foossa

David manages Foossa’s business operations and strategy practice. In his project work, David combines insights from the behavioral sciences, economics, and user research. Much of his work concerns building inclusive financial services in the US and abroad, and, to do so, he has worked to bridge the public, private, and social sectors.

David has advised regulators in Africa and Asia on using mobile phone-based financial services to promote financial inclusion, and analyzed the impact of proposed regulations. For private companies, he has researched the ways in which regulatory environments influence the features of financial instruments in emerging markets.

David has designed and evaluated programs promoting social change, and is experienced in aligning an organization’s efforts with its desired outcomes. He has helped to develop a model of financial advising for low-income New Yorkers that was later adopted by New York City’s Office of Financial Empowerment. He has also developed and taught courses in research design and performance management. David studied cognitive science at Harvard University and public policy and management at New York University.


Michael Lapin, Founder at Beginex

Michael Lapin is the founder of Beginex, a UX training program based on real projects with real social impact clients. Beginex is a mentored user experience (UX) design training program that helps candidates start careers by working on real social impact organization challenges. It was designed to help candidates build real experience, network with employers, advance skills and become more hireable while making an impact.In addition to running the program, Michael is a product and UX consultant, who also organizes user experience events, workshops and hackathons. He spent eight years in technology consulting, primarily in product, business analysis and design roles and started his career in management consulting after graduating from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Beginex is a program that helps trained candidates build experience and start careers in user experience (UX) design by working on real social impact organization challenges (with guidance from experienced mentors). Selected organizations receive a range of UX design services free of charge (that can include user research, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, etc.). The process can help organizations design products with better user experience, which is crucial for converting visitors into users, engaging and retaining them.