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Cheryl Heller

Founding Chair, MFA Design for Social Innovation, SVA

Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA and President of the design lab CommonWise. She was recently awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, and is a recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design.

Cheryl founded the first design department in a major advertising agency and as president, grew the division to $50m in billings when it was spun off as an independent entity. As a strategist, she has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. She has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world. Heller’s book, The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Universal Creative Energy of Social Design, will be published by Island Press in 2018.

Her clients have included Ford Motor Company, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, RWJ BarnabasHealth, MeadWestvaco, StoraEnso, the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, Medtronic, Mars Corporation, Discovery Networks International, Herman Miller, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, Elle Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The World Wildlife Fund, Ford Foundation, Lumina Foundation, The Graduate Network and the Girl Scouts of America.

Heller is the former Board Chair of PopTech, and a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $13 million to designers working for the public good, and partnered with Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum to create the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.” She is currently working on her Ph.D at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Cheryl Heller is tagged in 3 stories.
Q&A: How Social Design Is Creating New Markets, More Engaged Cultures
Q&A: How Social Design Is Creating New Markets, More Engaged Cultures

Organizational Change / This is one of a series of interviews by students and alumni from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) with practitioners from the Sustainable Brands community, on a variety of ways organizations can, and are, Redesigning the Good Life. - 1 year ago

Making Meaningful Connections with Stakeholders Through People-Centered Design Thinking
Making Meaningful Connections with Stakeholders Through People-Centered Design Thinking

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Throughout the week at SB’18 Vancouver, a host of organizations shared a range of strategies for making meaningful and lasting connections with customers and other stakeholders, while improving their contributions to society. - 2 years ago

Why Social Design Is the Innovation Business Needs Now
Why Social Design Is the Innovation Business Needs Now

Product, Service & Design Innovation / "Business and social innovation live in separate worlds, and speak different languages. As the need to make humans more creative and society more resilient becomes central to corporations' ability to grow, it's time to change that. This is an invitation to learn how. Cheryl Heller, Chair, MFA Design for Social Innovation, SVATo put you at ease, if you are a good business person, this is about profit, not nonprofit. It's about creating markets, not philanthropy or charity or cause marketing. It's about using design to benefit people, both inside companies and in society, and in the process, strengthening business. - 5 years ago

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