We’re on a mission to design a more equitable world. And we want your help.

We’re a tight-knit group of designers, strategists, builders, writers, and connectors fueled by curiosity, optimism, and a passion for social change. Our work tackling some of the world’s toughest design challenges takes us all over the world—from communities across Asia and Africa to neighborhoods in our own backyards. 

IDEO.org has an opportunity for a Design Lead with an expertise in building brands, visual storytelling, and movement building, to join our San Francisco studio. In this role, you'll lead multidisciplinary design teams through a rigorous process to create tangible products and services that improve the lives of low-income people. You will skillfully navigate the complex ecosystems we work within to ensure that our solutions can launch, scale and sustain in market in order to affect real change in the world. Your passion lies in creating compelling experiences that shift hearts and minds. You stand up for beauty and are adept at telling stories that transcend language and culture through emotion and human connection.

You may have built your career as a graphic designer, working at an agency, or creating film and video stories, but now you’re fluent in the full design process—from research to strategy to implementation—and comfortable leading teams through it.

A depth of skill in your core craft is a given. Leadership experience is a must. Passion for fighting global poverty and inequality is absolutely critical.

You will:

Inspire great design (and get your hands dirty)

  • Champion design excellence within teams, illuminating the difference between “good” and “great” work, and inspire teams to get there.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary design teams to develop new products, services and businesses that address a variety of poverty-related challenges—from research and prototyping through implementation support and stewardship.
  • Work on projects that spread across print, packaging, video storytelling, movement building, brand identity, and interactive projects for screens, devices, and space.
  • Synthesize stories of our work at every phase of the process and create compelling ways to tell those stories in a variety of mediums.
  • Bring both a strategic eye and a depth of craft in brand and communications design to the project team.
  • Bring communications inspiration into the organization, and share it with the rest of the studio.
  • Flex your collaboration skills—working with designers of all disciplines on projects
  • Create prototypes of different levels of fidelity to help determine design direction for a project.

Lead relationships with key partners

  • Instill confidence in the design process among our partner organizations.
  • Ensure our partners are equipped to steward the solutions we design to market.
  • Communicate the story of IDEO.org’s work with partners, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop and deliver progress reports, requirements, documentation and presentations.
  • Co-design measurement, learning, and optimization strategies with partners that will enable them to optimise solutions for scale and cost-effectiveness beyond our design engagements. .

Guide and mentor other designers

  • Instill project teams with the confidence and discipline to explore innovative design solutions. 
  • Support designers to infuse their passions into projects and learn new skills.
  • Be collaborative and contribute to healthy team motivation and morale, offering emotional and logistical support.
  • Contribute to IDEO.org studio culture.

You have:

  • 5+ years of professional experience in a design consultancy, agency, or equivalent position leading multidisciplinary design teams. through projects.
  • Fluency with Adobe Creative Suite, including InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
  • A diverse portfolio featuring a range of mediums from print design, film/video, and presentations to illustration, campaign and movement building.
  • Strong design fundamentals (color, form, type, layout) and the ability to experiment and teach others through your craft.
  • An obsession with what design and innovation can do for people.
  • Experience managing clients and partners—from early stage companies to mature organizations.
  • Solution-focused and medium-agnostic, willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge.
  • Adept at synthesizing data, distilling complexity, and storytelling.
  • Fluency in the human-centered design process from qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation.
  • Willing and able to travel internationally ~30% of the time.
  • Cultural sensitivity, creativity, and resourcefulness—as comfortable finding your way through a bustling market in Uganda as you are in a design studio workshop.
  • A thoughtful, yet playful approach to leading creative process and teams.


  • Experienced leading teams through a rigorous human centered design process
  • Fluent in Spanish

Equal Opportunity Employer:

IDEO.org is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

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