Meet Our Speakers

Cheryl Heller is a communication designer, writer and creative business strategist who has helped multi-national corporations, start ups and non-profit organizations grow. She is a Partner at CommonWise, founding Chair of the new MFA Program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York and Board Chair of PopTech, a laboratory for disruptive innovation focused on technology and social change.

She has led transformational initiatives with major corporations such as Ford, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, Cemex, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, Hearst and Sappi, non-profits such as WWF, Audubon, IDE, Concern Worldwide and the Girl Scouts of America. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since become their marquee program, giving over $10 million to designers working for the public good. She also advised Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum on the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.”

Cheryl has been a core faculty member for the PopTech Social Innovation and Science Fellows, mentoring the most exciting social entrepreneurs in the world as they create and scale new models for solving issues around poverty, water, health care, energy and conservation, often through the use of technology.

Cheryl has been profiled through articles in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, Graphis, and Communication Arts, is the recipient of countless awards from national and international creative competitions. Her work is included in the Library of Congress permanent collection, and has been published in numerous books on design and creativity. Cheryl is also the recipient of a Matrix Award for Women in Communication.

See Cheryl’s TEDxRVA 2013 talk here!