Storyteller. Designer. Illustrator. Adventurer. and Art Center alumna. Colombian. Entrepreneur. Simplifier. Former auto mechanic.
Above all, Wildlife Advocate.



With an in-depth focus on sustainable innovation, Mariana Prieto uses design thinking as a tool to explore solutions for wildlife conservation challenges. Previously, Mariana focused on using the design process to find solutions to complex social issues, such as lowering teen pregnancy rates in Zambia and creating credit systems for the unbanked in The Philippines. 

Prieto was the Design Innovation Lead for the International Rescue Committee where she led design for the organization’s newest initiative, the Airbel Center. Airbel is tasked with designing and testing large-scale solutions for people affected by crisis, such as war and natural disasters. 

Previously she was a Global Design Fellow at and Co Founder of Blue Barrel Concepts, where she led research and market viability on concepts aimed at improving the quality of life for people without access to running water. She was a Fellow at Polymath Ventures, where she co-lead a team tasked to design companies meant to scale to over a billion dollars in Latin America.

Prieto has taught at USC Marshall School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at Berkeley Haas School of Business, Stanford University and speaker at TEDxYouth@Caltech. She is currently a member of the Curious Company Collective

She now lives in New York with her husband, a dog and a cat.


Academic Paper

Our paper ‘Fostering Effective Models for Social Entrepreneurship in Design Education: Lessons Learned from the Safe Agua Case Study’ won best paper award at the conference ‘Cumulus Mumbai 2015 - in a Planet of our own with focus on water'. It as written by Mariana Amatullo, Penny Herscovitch and myself.

Download Paper from here



The Curious Company

I am a part of this problem-solver collective, which brings innovative thinking to solve the most entrenched issues of our day. The goal of the collaborative is to bring solutions at the scale of the challenges, while working shoulder to shoulder with NGO partners to leverage their talents and leave them more capable of developing human-centered design interventions in the future.

The Curious Company's work with PSI/Tanzania featured in Devex