Experience based learning.
Learn from creative leaders from across today's
most innovative companies and consultancies.
All of our : by Design trainings are taught by leaders well-versed in facilitating multidisciplinary problem-solving collaborations. Benefit from their rich experiences working across diverse organizations through our trainings.
Founder | Google | Adaptive Path | Cooper
CCA | Cooper Professional Education | CMU
Renna’s design career has been at the intersection of emerging behaviors and technologies. She found design after having had an entire career in politics, working as a communication strategist for nonprofits, government agencies and social justice initiatives. She has guided diverse groups of people through a variety of collaborations — from teenagers in East Oakland working to open a youth center, to bank executives working to establish a new business entity. Renna founded : by Design Workshops in 2013, when she saw a clear opportunity to bring essential and valuable skills that are explicitly taught in political organizing to design. Having gone in-house for the first time when she joined Google in 2017, Renna has updated and expanded the trainings to address the different contexts of being a member of an extended team versus an external consultant. She remains committed to helping designers wishing to work in the social impact space to do so responsibly, effectively and critically.
Renna is the founder of Hustlers & Hellions Studio, co-founder of Junior, and currently leads a UX team at Google. She has co-taught service design at California College of Art and Carnegie Mellon University.
The Sarap Shop | Stripe | Google Ventures | Google
General Assembly | GV | Google
You’ll find Kristen playing at her intersections as an entrepreneur / designer / facilitator / coach / dancer / aspiring baker. She takes learnings across borders and bends rules to create impact in unexpected ways. This approach is reflected in her business ventures. She flipped foreclosures during the ‘08-’09 economic recession. She co-founded The Sarap Shop, a Filipino food brand with a mission to dismantle crab mentality and fuel inclusive food experiences, generating multiple streams of income in just 3.5 years. And she built a business consulting practice that exclusively works with mom and pop shops and creative entrepreneurs that want to build financially sustainable businesses that align with their values.
Victoria State Government | World Bank | United Nations
Parsons School of Design | Columbia
Dr. Ratinam is a lead service designer working in the Department of Premier and Cabinet for the Victorian Government in Australia. He and his team work collaboratively across the government to solve complex policy and service delivery problems through design-based approaches. Prior to joining, he was the Managing Director at CivVic Labs, which brought government and startups together to solve public sector challenges, and was a Lead Design Specialist for the World Bank. Mathan was a core faculty member in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons The New School for Design. He directed the Humanitarian Design Lab conducting design research with various external partners from the humanitarian, NGO and development community including the Red Cross (IFRC, American Red Cross), Oxfam America, World Bank (Social Development, WBI, Africa Region) and the United Nations (UNISDR and UNU).
Mathan has been an independent consultant working both internationally and domestically. His work with the World Bank and the United Nations (UNHCR, UNWFP) has entailed a variety of projects ranging from designing facilitated workshops for government officials, multilateral donor and civil society personnel, to the development of communication strategies and technologies focusing on nuanced, human-centered stories. Within the United States Ratinam serves on the board of the Urban Assembly School of Emergency Management in New York, and frequently engages on initiatives regarding crisis response and emergency management. He co-facilitated and led the design of an all-day workshop at the Obama White House titled Innovation Brainstorm for Disaster Response and Recovery, a partnership between the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Sequoia Capital | Twitter | IBM
CCA | General Assembly
Josh is a designer, serial entrepreneur, and eternal optimist. Currently, he is the Founder & CEO of Startnership, a business that helps startups grow by delivering design and marketing tools for a fixed fee and on a fixed timeline. Josh founded Schwadesign in 1997, a network of strategists, designers, and developers curated in project-specific teams to reflect client needs.
Clients include Blue Man Group, the City of Providence RI, Friends of Dana-Farber, AIDS Action Committee of MA, MassEquality, Harvard University Systems Biology PhD Program, Brown University, Buildium.com, and Maurice Sendak. Josh has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, The Boston Globe, on recode.net, and rebrand.com. He is deeply passionate about new businesses and subversive ideas, and excels at helping entrepreneurs hustle to make their ideas happen.
A passionate networker, for over 20 years he has been an active member of AIGA, was a Centennial Co-Chair, and co-founded the organization’s 48th chapter in Rhode Island. Recently, work with StartOut (a new national non-profit for LGBT entrepreneurs) inspired him to create the national Designtrepreneurs series, part of San Francisco Design Week. He has taught and guest lectured at RISD, MassArt, Lesley University, California College of the Arts, and others, and has served as an advisor to startups and accelerators.
San Francisco Digital Services | Cooper | IDEO
CCA | Cooper Professional Education
Christina is a lead service designer for the City of San Francisco's Digital Services team. She applies her design research and strategy experience to uncovering people’s needs, goals and behaviors and then applying this knowledge to appropriate and meaningful design solutions for products and services. The majority of her work has focused on health and wellness projects ranging from research into the changing face of senior living to the development of medical software, telecommunication platforms and cardiac imaging tools. Christina came to design through her roots in community development, urban agriculture and site-specific sculpture. It is Christina’s experience that meaningful designs arise from understanding context and the underlying systems in which issues and opportunities play out.
In addition to consulting, she is the founder of Give-and-Take, a community-based project that is re-thinking how services are developed and delivered to keep everyday resources in play on a local scale. The business is exploring what it means to be an ethical economy where “production” is based primarily on creating opportunities for collaboration and social civil interactions.
Founded in 2013 by Renna Al-Yassini, : by Design Workshops originated with our Facilitation trainings.
Prior to finding design, Al-Yassini worked in politics, where facilitation was understood to be essential to the work, and actively taught. Realizing there was a gap in explicitly teaching facilitation in design, she set out to bring these skills to creatives wanting to make a lasting impact.
Partnering with AIGA, the live training has trained over 500 professionals across 12 locations.
Fast forward seven years, Al-Yassini has expanded and updated these professional development trainings, bringing to bare both in-house and consultant contexts. With the goal of elevating the role of design and designers within any organization, our trainings are now offered online and live.