About Me

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Currently the Director of Operations for Design for America (DFA) and a lecturer at the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University, I am a San Francisco native and passionate about the intersection of design education and local/social impact. My studio, students' projects, and DFA have been discussed in publications and blogs such as Fast Company, Chicago Tribune, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Core77 and more. I have been fortunate enough to have spoken and given workshops at TEDx, the NE IDSA Conference, Better Word by Design Conferences, Fulbright Seminar, and given workshops at college campuses across the country. I earned my BFA in industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design where I received RISD’s Community Service Award and the Rachel Carson Award upon graduation. I am currently working on a masters in learning and organizational change at Northwestern University. At the start, I founded and taught the advanced studio, Design for Social Entrepreneurship at RISD, Design Futures at Pratt and worked with nonprofits such as Design that Matters and GreenBlue.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Support Change



It is now OUR responsibility to create the United States of America that we want to see. Support change.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Overlap 08

This weekend, I had the wonderful honor of attending a conference called the Overlap. This conference brought together 50 leaders in design, business, innovation and sustainability to talk about effective "processes" for creating positive change.

This conference was indubitably like none other. More like a retreat or gathering, the structure was centered around intimate presentations followed by group dialogue. It was everything I could have hoped for and more.


I entered the conference with the hopes of meeting some of my role-models and left with a room-full more to look up to.

Pictured Above From Left to Right, and Top to Bottom:

Deb Johnson
Peter Nicholson
Chhaya Bhanti
Steve Varon
James Burling Chase
Sami Nerenberg (that's me!)
Majora Carter (yes, I was just talking about her too!)

I was SO thrilled to be around so many amazing and inspiring people!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Overlap Reflections

Favorite Quotes:

"Let me build on what you're saying." -GK

"These problems are not to be solved but to be evolved." -Steve V.

"Caring is core." -Heather

"Mock it up before you fock it up." -Deb J.

"We don't need to give up 9/10ths of our things, we just need to live 10 times more efficiently." -Cameron

"I'm just a farmer, I plants seeds of thought and grow fields of gold." -Steve V.

"Return to a question, not a problem." -Mike

"Stop treating the framework of capitalism as a playground for profit." -Mike

"Rational Activism." - Mike

"Show me a big problem, and I'll show you a big opportunity." -Farhad

"Try not to always rub the same spot." -Manuel

"Not awareness but persuasion." -Cameron

"We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, but are borrowing it from our children." -Craig

References I learned of:

Edward DeBono- structured creativity

Google Enterprise
- google for business

Humanitarian Dream - Dalai Lama carrying the Olympic torch

The Climate Change Project

Tactical Technology Collective -demystifying technology for non-profits

Howard Odum- American Ecologist

GTD -Getting Things Done- for over-achieving OCDers. :-)

World Resources Institute
- intersection of the environment and human needs

Judy of the Woods

Gapminder
-
statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

FabLab- MIT technical outreach

Taproot Foundation
- Do it pro bono

The Business Genome Project

PSR- Physicians for Social Responsibility

Path101- Career Finding

Books Recommended:

Green to Gold -How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage

The Botany of Desire
- A plant's-eye view of the world

The Speed of Trust- The one thing that changes everything

Linked- The New Science of Networks