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group selfie of the Global Impact Collective members in an elevator with green walls

Why a Collective?

We are multi-disciplinary experts in design, social impact, sustainability, and technology who look at problems from multiple angles. We deeply collaborate with clients and impacted communities to help solve hard problems in innovative ways.

  • PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

    Pact 

    Board of Directors

    (2010-2020) 

    Atlas Corps 

    Board of Directors

    (2023-present) 

    University of Washington

    Adjunct Faculty, Jackson School of Public Policy

    "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

    —THEODORE ROOSEVELT

    I’ve had a non-linear career, and that’s a good thing. After more than 30 years, I find myself constantly challenged, curious, and engaged. I started working in PR and marketing, first for agencies in Chicago, then for Microsoft, where I was an early member of the Xbox team, handling international PR.  

     

    I spent time growing up in Kenya and discovered that I wanted to reconnect my career with that part of my history. I eventually landed in Microsoft Education, where I ran a global program to help teachers use technology better in the classroom. We built partnerships with governments, foundations, donors, and multilateral organizations. I learned that collaboration was key to unlocking unified creativity.  

     

    Since leaving Microsoft, I’ve worked with a variety of clients – including Unilever, PepsiCo, Cargill, Microsoft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation – helping them build multistakeholder collaborations to drive social impact and sustainability.  

     

    Working in more than 50 countries, I’ve seen how frequently technology fails underrepresented communities. With the Global Impact Collective, I hope to change that, and therefore address some of the biggest challenges facing people and the planet. 

     

    I live in Seattle with my wife and three dogs. 

    CO-FOUNDER

    James Bernard

    headshot of James Bernard
  • headshot of Tom Bouchard

    FOUNDING ADVISOR

    Tom Bouchard

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

    —TOM ROBBINS

    I am a design leader driven by a deep curiosity about how people interact with products, their environments, and each other. This curiosity has guided me through designing mass-produced products, world-class cultural history museums, complex enterprise-wide design systems, and brands.

     

    Over the last twenty years, I've spearheaded the creation of user experience organizations and directed product vision, strategy and delivery at Google and Microsoft to ensure that technologies are designed to enhance people's lives. I have delivered products that millions of people use daily: new technology enabled experiences ranging from social and collaboration platforms, video products to voice-powered assistants.

     

    My philosophy is that successful projects begin with listening and observing, evolving from open and collaborative cultures unafraid to question assumptions, and most importantly, are measured in terms of human outcomes.

     

    I passionately believe that design can be a meaningful catalyst for change in the face of seemingly insurmountable global challenges. As a Founding Advisor to the Global Impact Collective, I look forward to tackling significant global challenges by forging partnerships with organizations dedicated to fostering positive change.

     

    Outside of work, I find joy in chasing my kids down mountains on skis or bikes, riding waves, or attending my daughter's musicals.

  • headshot of Don Coyner

    FOUNDING ADVISOR

    Don Coyner

    —CONFUCIUS

    "He who chases two rabbits catches none."

    My career has been full of serendipitous turns. I began in advertising, transitioned to the video game industry, and eventually found myself at Microsoft, where I handled marketing and led design teams.

     

    During my time with advertising two firms, Campbell Mithun and Foote, Cone and Belding, I worked on various products, including breakfast cereals, Kleenex, and Kraft items. In 1988, I was invited to join Nintendo during a very exciting time, overseeing marketing, advertising, packaging, and promotion for games and hardware, including Game Boy, Super NES, and N64.

     

    At Microsoft, I initially managed hardware products like mice, keyboards, and PC speakers. Later, I played a key role in the development of the Xbox, leading brand development, advertising, PR, and packaging. It was a remarkable journey, turning a small project into a billion-dollar global phenomenon.

     

    My career continued with Xbox 360, where I began managing design teams. I spent my final 12 years at Microsoft overseeing hardware and user experience design for consumer products, including Skype, and working with educators to improve Microsoft products for teachers and administrators.

     

    Upon retiring, I sought new challenges and found purpose in helping create the Global Impact Collective. I believe we can make a meaningful difference in addressing global issues, both big and small.

  • PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

    American Institute of Graphic Artists 

    Board Member, Design for Good

    headshot of Leslie Hale

    PARTNER

    Leslie Hale

    "Things do not change; we change."

    —HENRY DAVID THOREAU

    When I was five, my parents turned our kids’ playroom into a museum. You could add anything you wanted to the collection, but research had to be done and presented with your find – be that an eggshell, arrowhead, seashell, or a civil war era trinket. This was the beginning of my relentless inquiry of the world. 

     

    My strategy career, working mostly in agencies and consultancies, has been in the service of clients across broad industries. I have expertise in business, brand, market, and product strategy, having worked with Fortune 50 to startup companies and across the worlds of corporations, foundations, and nonprofits. 

     

    What sets my soul on fire is sustainability, social responsibility, and climate impact. These are not just buzz words for me; they are a personal passion and reflect my values. I have had the privilege of collaborating in this arena with The Nature Conservancy, Coca Cola, Target, Avery Dennison, Boeing, and Fare Start to name a few. 

     

    It’s not just about business for me; it’s about having a positive impact on the world. My personal tagline is “I like a good knot to unravel” — To tease apart a problem, ask thoughtful questions, listen deeply, and collaborate to find the right solution.

  • headshot of Judith Hochhauser Schneider

    PARTNER

    Judith Hochhauser Schneider

    "If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it."

    —ALBERT EINSTEIN

    Traveling to Costa Rica to study sustainable development during undergrad became the North Star for my career. I learned that to protect the planet, economic, ecological, and social forces all needed to prosper. I began working in nonprofit space but quickly realized that I needed tools to harness the scale of the private sector.

     

    At the University of Michigan Business School, I worked in the slums of Nairobi, the rainforests of Peru, the auto industry of Detroit, all of which shaped my global perspective on the complexity of the problems and the elegance of creative solutions. 

     

    After getting my MBA, I landed my first dream job at DuPont, where I saw how setting smart targets had far reaching impacts in carbon and greenbuilding strategy. I amplified that experience at PwC by helping companies across numerous sectors. I pulled all of learning together at World Wildlife Fund leading global partnerships with The Coca-Cola Company, Walmart, Starbucks, and Nike, helping the largest brands address hotspots throughout their supply chain. I have seen first-hand that the best solutions can only be achieved when governments, nonprofits, foundations and companies come together. 

     

    I live in Portland, Oregon, with my family and spend as much time as possible on the tennis court, in the forest or on the coast.

  • PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

    Industrial Designers Society of America 

    Academy of Fellows (FIDSA), Lifetime Member

    headshot of Steve Kaneko

    FOUNDING ADVISOR

    Steve Kaneko

    "The true awareness of beauty is to be found when beauty watches beauty, not where I watch, it."

    —SHOETSU YANAGI

    As a seasoned product design executive, my career has been dedicated to leading across the physical and digital domains driven by the belief that the most valuable skill is being a perpetual student of people to amplify what they value most, regardless of technology.

    Since departing Microsoft in 2019, I've shared my expertise as an Advisor at Kaneko Design Group, LLC, collaborating with corporate leaders to establish experience design systems, capabilities, and cultures crucial for leveraging design's strategic role in our new technology era.

    Having navigated the waves of computing from the PC to AI and connected devices, my background as an Industrial Designer expanded to encompass deep understandings in ergonomics, design research, branding, human interaction, and corporate-wide experience design storytelling and orchestration.

    As a founding Advisor to the Global Impact Collective, I aspire to address large, complex challenges by partnering with organizations for positive change, particularly for the underrepresented, using universal product design practices.

    Moved by personal experiences with aging loved ones, I am especially dedicated to enabling dignified and empowered living in the last trimester of life through well-considered products, services, and technology applications. 

    I live in the Seattle, Washington area, with my family, where you can typically find me with mud on my shoes, having just spent time onsite for a home remodel or in a studio, making things.

  • headshot of Saira McDonald

    PARTNER

    Saira McDonald

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    —MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

    For over 20 years, I’ve been drawn to mission-driven roles that work to advance human rights and dignity, protect the environment, and make a positive impact on an international scale. I’m passionate about innovative, cross-sectoral partnerships that bring different voices to the table and take bold action to address global challenges. 

     

    My social impact expertise has roots in global development policy, trade, and business with experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. My journey began as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan and Ukraine, working in the countries’ burgeoning NGO sectors. I continued my path in global development, first as a project manager in the USAID consulting realm, and later as a Presidential Management Fellow with USAID’s Europe and Eurasia bureau and the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships. 

     

    I’ve also held roles at Weber Shandwick, a global PR agency supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health team; assisted small- and medium-sized exporters at the Export Finance Assistance Center of Washington (EFACW); and helped ensure that Microsoft products were locally relevant and culturally appropriate with its Global Readiness team. 

     

    Today, I offer research, analysis, program management, project design, and operational support to the Global Impact Collective.

  • headshot of Carey Renn

    CO-FOUNDER

    Carey Renn

    "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

    —MAYA ANGELOU

    Like James, I’ve had a nonlinear career. After graduating with a degree in physiology and working as a biochemistry researcher, my career took an interesting turn when I took what I thought would be a short-term position at Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. as I prepared for graduate school.  

    The short-term position turned into a sixteen-year career where I learned that there was a lot more to technology projects than just technology. I initiated program management and user centered design and built a robust program management and design department. I led the development of the Allen Brain Atlas and partnered to launch the Allen Institute for Brain Science.  

    I was promoted to Sr. Director of Technology Development managing everything from program management to software engineering. During this time, I also lead the Artificial Intelligence team and launched the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. I also strategically aligned technology with global impact initiatives across climate change, conservation, and ocean health, leading teams that launched Earth Ranger, Sky Light, and Smart Catch, among others. 

    Since leaving Vulcan I’ve been able to continue working on globally significant issues such as economic development with the Kauffman Foundation, female financial empowerment with FINCA Haiti, combating plastic pollution with the Lonely Whale Foundation and many more.  

    Maybe someday I’ll get that graduate degree. 

  • PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

    Industrial Designers Society of America 

    Chair-Elect & Director

    (2021-now) 

    Design in Public & Seattle Design Festival

    President & Director

    (2015-2017) 

    Interaction Week

    Chair

    (2019)

    50th Anniversary of Design Conference

    Chair

    (2015)

    headshot of Surya Vanka

    FOUNDING ADVISOR

    Surya Vanka

    "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."

    —RYUNOSUKE SATORO

    I have had a career that spans from being an award-winning designer, a tenured professor of design,16 years at Microsoft leading user experience and establishing industry-leading design practices, as well as leading non-profit boards. 

     

    Driven by the desire to scale the design thinking process to benefit all humanity, I started Authentic Design and created the Design Swarms® method. Using this method, over 25,000 people have unleashed their inner design thinker to solve extraordinarily hard problems in innovative ways. Today, this method is used by organizations on virtually every continent to harness the collective creativity of their employees, partners, and customers. It has received top accolades, including being nominated for the Smithsonian National Design Award and the Frontier Design Prize 2022. 

     

    I have served clients from enterprise businesses like Amazon, Amgen, Autodesk, and T-Mobile, to non-profits like the Global Humanitarian Lab and the Clinton Global Foundation, as well as over a dozen educational institutions around the world. I am driven by the mission is to elevate and increase the collective creativity of humanity.

     

    In my spare time, I enjoy traveling to remote corners of the world and showcasing my art in galleries.

The Team

Our Experience

Our Network

We have curated a global network of experts with deep experience in a variety of industry sectors and geographies, including:
Circular economy
Global health
Land rights
Sustainable agriculture
Ocean conservation
Wildlife conservation
Biodiversity
Measurement & evaluation
Sustainability communications
UX/UI
Brand and storytelling
Artificial Intelligence
Visual & information architecture
Product engineering
Industrial design
Graphic design

By prioritizing human experience and design-thinking principles, we guide individuals and organizations to consider broader systems to reframe solutions. Our global experience, combined with local wisdom, can bridge cultural divides and inspire design thinkers.

People Driven

Working closely with local groups, we use the principles of design thinking to create innovative and sustainable solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Our goal is to empower individuals and organizations to develop effective, impactful solutions of their own.

Locally Engaged

Our team includes internationally recognized design, technology, and sustainability leaders. The strength of our combined network enables us to tap into multifaceted expertise from around the world.

Globally Informed

We approach every challenge with cultural sensitivity and human centricity. We don’t believe any single person or organization has the answers. Only after unlocking true, authentic collaboration, can we apply appropriate solutions to global challenges facing the world.  

Our Philosophy
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