What WE Do

We help our clients – Fortune 500 to non profits – create new incremental value by helping them adapt and remain competitive in a rapidly shifting global economy.  People, divisions, and companies are seeking a way to compete with new products and services.  We help you learn, adjust, and apply all the compelling innovation frameworks into real revenue. We transform your teams’ mindsets and skillsets using experiential learning, innovation frameworks, and expert facilitators.

We hold public workshops too so anyone can  experience our transformational process.

Who WE Are

We are a community of leaders and innovators who believe that human-centered design can positively impact organizations.

What WE Believe

We believe creativity and innovation soars when people work together with an open and collaborative mindset, when we listen and co-create, and define actionable steps to effect change. We know human-centered design to be within everyone’s ability regardless of background, education, or work experience.


What is 50 ACTION 50?

50 ACTION 50 is WE DESIGN THINK’s social impact division. T Through the year, 50 ACTION 50 convenes organizations seeking to increase the enterprise’s, the region’s, and the family’s economic value by activating women’s full economic potential & contribution. For two years, from 2014-2015, WE DESIGN THINK studied why economic equity hadn’t been achieved after 50 years of effort. Using human centered design and innovation frameworks, we discarded the existing  solutions. We built a new approach from the ground up and are entering our third year of empowering women and men. The focus is to take responsibility for achieving gender equity within our families, communities and at work. It is not the job of organization alone to achieve equity, it is our individual responsibility to act.






_3486514Karen Gordon

Founder, Chief Design Facilitator

Karen’s entire career has been focused on creating new value – as an intrapreneur or entrepreneur. She believes we are in the midst of a cultural shift in how we all create “value.” It will be dependent on our ability to harness our collective creativity that will lead to all future  innovations. She has been an advisor to startups and an entrepreneur who has moved billion-dollar businesses to digital platforms, as well as built companies from idea to revenue. She has seen that success comes faster to those who know how to truly listen to their customer needs. Karen volunteers at 1871, mentoring startups, and teaches classes, including Business Model Design, Design Thinking as a human capability.


Emily TeterEmily Teter

Design Innovator II

Emily is an Associate Creative Director with 11 years of design and art direction experience. She has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies and studied at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. The invaluable experience she gained from working with a variety of companies has allowed Emily to perfect her design skills as well as branch out into Art Direction and User Experience Design. She collaborates with Design Thinking to drive real-world solutions.



Chris Datsikas

Design Facilitator I

Chris is passionate about developing user-centered technologies that assist, connect, and empower people. He is motivated to deliver products with positive and meaningful impact by understanding user needs, tackling technical challenges, and scoping business opportunities. Chris has previously worked for Microsoft Surface and is eager to apply design thinking to emerging technologies such as IoT as well as finding ways to use technology to help individuals with mental illness.





Board of Advisors



Bill Bernahl, advisor WE DESIGN THINKBill Bernahl

Founder, OMC1 Ventures

Bill is the founder OMC1 Ventures which works with companies to digitally transform , commercialize digital products, and lead efforts to shift employee mindset and skill sets to drive client business growth and profitability.  Informing everything Bill does is his extensive Fortune 500 digital technology, marketing and product development experiences coupled with an extensive startup background.  Bill led the e-commerce and digital marketing efforts for United Airlines, Hyatt Hotels and Herman Miller. He was a co-founder of the internet startup iExplore. Bill has also led product and technology groups at cars.com, apartments.com, newhomenetwork.com, and eshots. 



Antoinette Gawin

Global Executive / Change Catalyst

Walking in others’ shoes is a hallmark of Antoinette’s leadership philosophy, applied in diverse leadership roles across the globe.  Whether turning around a struggling joint venture or launching new concepts, Antoinette’s ability to Listen, Learn, then ACT has inspired transformational change in IT, healthcare and financial services.  Her ability to build authentic customer relationships is key to building resilient, relevant organizations.




CIO,CTO, COO, InvestorDan Fallon

Executive Partner at Gartner

Dan has 30 years of experience motivating and mentoring people and organizations to improve performance having been a senior executive in consulting, Fortune 250, and start-up companies. He brings a pragmatic perspective to helping leaders navigate issues, opportunities, and career decisions. He helps teams debate, decide, and do, while course correcting when needed. He particularly champions the cause of a diverse workplace in which ideas flourish, mistakes are learning moments, collaboration is key, and people are treated equitably.



Eric Foster head shot

Eric Foster

Global IT Senior Executive & CIO

Eric’s cross industry & global technology experience has the mindset and skillset of an  his entire career to design new products and services that drive value creation.  senior executive and CIO cross-industry experience, broad technology background, and a demonstrable record in transforming IT delivery and leading/managing global, multi-cultural teams. Excels at innovative and collaborative mindset; a pragmatic vision capable of translating strategic plans into executable programs, and driving multiple, large-scale projects to completion. Eric brings his exceptional communication & interpersonal skills to help guide programming, perspective & impact on all efforts


Carol Fowler

Media Executive

Carol is a respected media executive who led award-winning news operations in Chicago, including senior roles at the Chicago Sun-Times, FOX32 Chicago, CBS2 Chicago and WGN-TV.  Carol now leads efforts to transform media organizations as a digital content strategist dedicated to innovative marketing practices, great writing, impactful video, live stream programming and engaging online conversations.  Her learning mindset is contagious as people see her willing to dive into the science of digital media whether it be SEO or creating organic and paid social media strategies to drive brand awareness, sales and website traffic. Carol is an adjunct lecturer on media innovation at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.


San2013_sandee kastrul headshot-001dee Kastrul

President & Co-Founder, i.c.stars

Sandee is an engaging and inspiring leader who draws the connections between creativity, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. As the co-founder of the renowned social enterprise i.c.stars, Sandee brings a perspective to problem solving that has impacted many. She has crafted a program that demonstrates the powerful result of optimism combined with the power of Capitalism and Civil Rights. Sandee has been working in education and transformation for over 2 decades, and is a sought-after speaker.



Greg Morris

Gregory K. Morris

Managing Partner – MorrisHuml LLC

Greg serves as advisor to executives leading transformational change in global businesses. He is a partner in MorrisHuml LLC, a consultancy that supports Fortune 1000 firms across industry sectors where they focus on organizational alignment in fast changing times. Greg is leading the 10th consecutive year as designer and dedicated facilitator for Global Leader Development Program delivered in Asia, Europe and US. This learning experience provides executives with knowledge, skills and frameworks required to lead strategic transformation with greater confidence and success. Enhancing global cultural competency is among several targeted outcomes.


Michele WuckerMichele Wucker

Author, Speaker

A global thought leader in strategy, public policy, and geo-economics, Michele Wucker draws on three decades of experience in media and non-profit management and content creation and turnarounds. Michele is author, most recently, of THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors. Her past leadership positions include Vice President for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President of the World Policy Institute, which she re-launched in a dramatic turnaround; and Latin America Bureau Chief at International Financing Review.