About Me

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I co-scope challenges with project sponsors, engage stakeholders to understand all points of view, highlight insights to reframe perspectives, generate alternative solutions and find moments to test ideas, iterate, build in feedback loops and develop plans of action to execute on ideas. Currently I am an experience designer for Kaiser Permanente. Previously, I was the Associate Director of Design for America where under my leadership the program grew from 40 college students at one university to 1,000 students at 29 universities throughout the US where interdisciplinary teams used creative problem solving for local and social good. My past work and students have been discussed in publications and blogs such as Fast Company, Chicago Tribune, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Core77 and more. I have given talks at conferences such as TEDx, IDSA, IxDA, Better Word by Design, and given workshops at college campuses across the country. I earned my masters in Organizational Change from Northwestern University and a BFA in industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design and have taught design and engineering at both universities.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Important Update from Sami

Well, this is an official notification to everyone, that as of a couple of months ago I am now on the roster of adjunct faculty members for the Industrial Design department at RISD. My time has been spent this summer continuing my research and developing a syllabus for an advanced studio in the Fall, hence the slow pace of blog updates. I am telling people now to encourage feedback, advice, input, collaboration and dialogue over the next couple of months before embarking on this new journey. I have quite a bit of freedom on this development with some big picture ideas, so I would love to hear all questions and comments. Feel free to inquire if you would like to know more details, and more posts on the matter are to follow. Below is my course description:


Design for Social Entrepreneurship (DeSE)
RISD Fall '08

A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.


This course aims to cultivate social entrepreneurial designers by investigating the power of product, system and service design to create positive social and environmental change. Looking at both international and domestic issues, this course asks, how can design and design thinking be used to solve the world’s leading problems to achieve triple bottom line sustainability—environmentally, socially, and economically? Structured around holistic thinking, collaborative and individual design work, with mentorship from experts in the field, this course uncovers how to design products and/or services, wrap a business around it, and create tangible positive impact in our world today.