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95 | Designing Intergalactically

Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York, and President of the design lab CommonWise. Over the span of her career, Heller has moved between the private and the social, and between practice and teaching. Throughout, she has been a leader in new ways of thinking about how design can be used.

95 | Designing Intergalactically

As Professor of Practice and Innovation Design, Cheryl Heller wears multiple hats at Arizona State University (ASU). Through her roles as Director of Design Integration and Program Director of InnovationSpace, she connects students to real world projects with social benefit. She also spearheads a one-year MS program in Innovation and Venture Development (MSIVD) at the intersection of ASU’s Business, Engineering and Design Schools.

Prior to joining ASU, Heller was the Founding Chair of the MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City, and President of the design lab CommonWise. Heller also launched MeasureD, the result of a research project at SVA which evaluates ways to measure the difference a design approach makes to efforts to improve health equity.

As a strategist, Heller has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. Heller is the former Board Chair of PopTech, and a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab.

We had a chance to speak with Cheryl on our podcast Social Design Insights. Have a listen below.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2018 is "Alright With Me" by Reggie Young from his album "Young Street." The break music for this episode is "Blackout Artist" by Analogue Transit from their album "Gearheart."