Questions I Am Often Asked
What do you do?
I work with companies and organizations to find solutions for a specific challenge, that will ultimately benefit wildlife.
What kinds of challenges have you tackled before?
- Bringing wildlife conservation education to inner city teenagers
- Reducing teenage pregnancy in Zambia
- Making loans accessible for farmers who were victims of the typhoon in The Philippines, who had no government ID's.
- Updating the refugee resettlement process in the US to increase resettlement success
- Reducing the unnecessary consumption of water for laundry in Peru
- Finding market opportunities to design new businesses with a billion dollar potential
Many of these are not related to wildlife. Why?
For seven years I focused my work on poverty alleviation, the refugee crisis, and natural disasters working with organizations such as IDEO.org and The International Rescue Committee. With them I designed new initiatives for impact and scale, improved on existing systems and taught design thinking methodologies to partners around the world.
Now, I apply the same principles of design to companies and organizations that work for the preservation of wildlife species instead.
Do you still do work that is related to social impact?
Only when it involves wildlife in some way as well.
What kinds of challenges are best for this approach?
The best challenges that are best suited for design are the ones that involve working with a large group of people that have the choice to engage with your product or not. For example:
- To reduce cheetah poisoning by farmers (farmer needs and desires need to be carefully understood in order to design solutions to prevent these actions. For example, designing a carefully thought through cheetah insurance to protect both farmers and cheetahs)
- To increase advocacy and wildlife conservation in teenagers
(organizations know it's an important issue, but teenagers don't want to talk about sex)
- To improve / increase fundraising for an organization
(organizations need the funding, but donors may not be fully engaged for several reasons. We uncover those reasons and design for increased profits)
- To communicate complex scientific data to a massive audience and/or children (ie. Sea Level Rise, plastic pollution, etc)
- To reduce the desire to purchase ivory or shark fin (understanding the daily habits of consumers and finding compelling ways to reduce these purchases)
- Releasing a documentary film, but not sure about what impact it will have with the audience once it is released.
What is your expertise?
I am trained as a designer and I lead strategy, the process to come up with new ideas, testing in low cost ways (prototyping). When it comes to producing final things I do graphic design, illustration and basic web design. For other tasks I have large network of talented people that can bring their own expertise to make an amazing final product.
How big is your team?
I work by myself on many projects and bring others to join me on larger projects. Many times I can begin on my own, and when we see the need to expand I bring more people in from my network.
How much does it cost to work with designers?
As you can imagine, it depends on the work. We work by hours, by days or in some cases by project, depending on what fits the needs of the work best.
How long does it take to come up with a final solution?
It depends on the challenge and on the scope of the work. For the most part, I have been involved in challenges that range from 2 weeks to 1 year.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out!