"I knew going into the program that our cohort would be made up of deeply talented individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and I anticipated that we would all have different skillsets and knowledge bases. What I did not anticipate was that our interests and ways of working would be so closely aligned: across the board, there's a desire to think systematically, understand details, and make a positive contribution to society."
-Brian Ho, MDE '18-
B.S. in Computer Science
Concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights (PJHR)
Oluwatosin is interested in the interaction between design, technology, social impact, and urban development, particularly on the African continent. Having studied computer science with a concentration in PJHR, she worked towards using technology to effect positive societal change. With a passion and continual commitment to developing human-centered solutions that combine smart, intuitive design and 'inno-native' technology to transform spaces and lives, she embarked on a year-long research fellowship to explore the development and effects of such solutions around the world, from Spain to South Africa and the UAE to Ghana. She hopes to explore ways in which technology can be used to transform the urban development trajectory of African cities.
B.A. in Studio Art
Hyemin worked a total of seven years at Samsung. Her experience in market research, product positioning, product design, CMF, and manufacturing quality control has allowed her to gain in-depth knowledge on how to produce feasible design solutions. Now she wishes to expand beyond designing technological products that yield individual impact to focus more on communicating designs at a societal level. The long-term goal is to become an influential designer who can produce positive social impact by solving major issues through unconventional means. One major way to achieve this goal is to create products or systems that encourage a sense of genuine interaction for consumers in areas traditionally considered to be provider-centered.
B.A. in Politics & Sociology
Berlynn’s passion lives interdisciplinary, which converges at the heart of design, society, and people. Her liberal arts education allowed her to understand and deconstruct the structural unity of social dilemmas, and her professional experience in the tech industry developed real-world skills in designing alternative solutions. Prior to the MDE program, Berlynn worked at Airbnb, and was responsible for partnerships spanning strategy, marketing, and product, to user growth. Her current focus is in building sustainable innovations that transform collective norms and behaviors at scale. In her free time, Berlynn enjoys playing music, outdoor activities, and meditation.
B.A. in Anthropology and Law
Building on his experience in policy, law, anthropology, and the arts, Ed will use the MDE program to explore solutions to the healthcare and environmental challenges he observed while monitoring hospitals and prisons for the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone. Ed grew up in South Wales before studying anthropology and law at the LSE, where he won awards for his ethnographic fieldwork. Prior to Harvard, he worked at the UK Treasury, where he advised on the regulation of driverless car insurance and expanded multi-billion-pound insurance schemes to protect the UK economy from catastrophic risks. More recently, he created new policies for the Mayor of London to safeguard cultural venues at risk of closure. Ed is also an accomplished musician and Fulbright Scholarship grantee.
Bachelor of Business Administration
A writer, designer, and environmentalist, Yash is interested in understanding how our planet’s sustainability is inextricably linked to issues that most affect marginalized populations. Yash previously worked as a customer engagement and design consultant at IBM, where he used innovative technologies to transform organizations and user experiences across industries and sectors. He also has experience as a domestic and international researcher, covering studies involving transportation safety, health deficiency, and public education. Yash draws creative inspiration from his writing – his playground for observing and reflecting on human behavior, stories, and our built and natural environment – and primarily focuses on fiction.
Barbara Alonso Cabrero
B.A. in Design - New Media
Barbara studied design at the Complutense University in Madrid, where she specialized in New Media. She then worked as an interaction and visual designer at Designit, where she participated in projects following a human-centered design approach. During this time, she worked in multidisciplinary teams for clients such as Repsol, Leroy Merlin, and BBVA. At MDE, Barbara is focused on expanding her previous knowledge by taking into consideration not just the user, but the whole community and its connections; not just the individual issue, but the entire system and its interrelations. Specifically, she is interested in exploring how design might help to unleash the full potential of new technologies developed in the aerospace industry to respond to the needs of our communities here on Earth.
B.A. in Art History and B.S. in Computer Engineering
Samuel is a computer engineer with a background in software, hardware, manufacturing, and art. In 2009, he launched NewsBlur, a news reader and popular successor to Google Reader. In 2016, he launched Turn Touch, a wooden home automation remote control. He led the electronics teams on two interactive biofeedback sculptures at Burning Man, Pulse+Bloom and Grove. Before moving to San Francisco, he worked in the New York Times newsroom and at Microsoft. His passion is to build products that act as productivity multipliers. Samuel spends his free time hiking in the forest and machining in the wood shop.
Trevor Storm Cobb
B.A. in Anthropology
Trevor Cobb is a strategist, entrepreneur, and design researcher fascinated by the potential of emerging technology as a catalyst for positive human and environmental impact. Prior to MDE, he led human-centered design research and innovation sprints for Fortune 100 clients. With a background in storytelling and deep expertise in product and brand marketing, Cobb seeks novel ways to uncover latent needs, to triangulate between pain points, products, systems, and markets, and to translate insights into action. Cobb is a co-founder of Bramble Outdoor, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Animal Ventures, and has worked as an ethnographer and consultant for clients, including FedEx and the American Institute of Architects, among others.
B.S. Biological Sciences
M.A. Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
Nick's education and career began with cellular biology. While conducting research at Harvard's Stem Cell Institute, he explored his interest in automation-based cell biology projects. This led him to move to a start-up, where he sought to improve reproducibility in stem cell culture processes with automation. Wanting to expand his technical capabilities, he switched to the field of nanotechnology, researching infrared light absorption in nanostructures. Nick was drawn to the MDE program due to its highly multidisciplinary approach. While at Harvard, Nick plans to build upon his technical background by focusing on how to efficiently leverage science and technology in society. When he's not working, Nick can be found enjoying the outdoors.
Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering
Anirban is a mechanical engineer with a background in medical device development, product design, and rapid prototyping. During his undergraduate program, Anirban worked on developing a mining robot for NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition. He also worked with Fracktal Works, a 3D-printing startup. Here, he worked on designing low-cost 3D printers and worked with doctors to develop medical devices. After graduating, Anirban joined GE Healthcare's Maternal Infant Care R&D team, where he worked on a range of mother and infant care products, ranging from devices to monitor vitals to infant incubators. Anirban's main interest lies in developing cost-effective healthcare solutions for emerging markets. He also takes great interest in reading, sketching, and indulging in the culinary arts from time to time.
Taylor Greenberg Goldy
Bachelor of Fine Arts: Apparel Design
Taylor is a true believer in cross-disciplinary research and collaboration. Prior to joining MDE, Taylor worked at Harvard’s Wyss Institute designing textile-based, lower-extremity exosuits alongside a team of engineers, clinicians, and designers. She also spent a summer as a grant student at NASA, re-designing intravehicular activity (IVA) apparel for astronauts on long-duration missions to Mars, as well as engineering a cooling device for ballistic vests worn by NASA security personnel. At MDE, Taylor hopes to continue cross-disciplinary problem-solving to further understand how to translate an idea into a product and improve people's lives.
Bachelor of Architecture
Nupur sees design as a multi-dimensional entity. She worked in production design in Mumbai, India, and worked on multiple projects as an architect, notably for Puma and Amazon Prime. Her passion for performance design challenged her to take a proactive role behind the camera lens. Previously, she has been associated with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and forayed into research at the Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre at CEPT University on vernacular furniture of North-West India. With MDE, she is keen to enhance her abilities as a creative thinker, problem-solver, explorer, and imaginative dreamer. Being a trained classical dancer and a vocalist has helped her maintain a creative balance.
B.A. in Psychology and Art Theory & Practice
Audrey is an experience designer and researcher from San Jose, California. She is excited about harnessing data and technology to discover new stories and inform design decisions. Audrey is especially interested in interdisciplinary solutions to complex social problems, including human trafficking, homelessness, and violence towards femininity. Prior to joining the MDE program, Audrey worked with physicians, patients, designers, and engineers at Partners HealthCare in a joint initiative to use clinical analytics and machine learning to empower cardiac patients to better manage their health. She loves playing sports, philosophizing, and making things.
Syed M. Rafay Jawad
Master of Business Administration
Rafay is an entrepreneur and strategist. He has a particular interest in tackling complex multi-dimensional problems and how businesses can be better designed to make a greater social impact. Rafay has recently completed his MBA at Babson College. Prior to that, he has worked in Pakistan where he designed and launched multiple high-impact social startups in the agriculture sector. He has also worked closely with the Government and International Development Agencies around policy re-structuring and support for the success of these initiatives. He is an artist, off-road enthusiast and animal lover.
Huanwen (Gavin) Jiao
B.A. in Product Design
Huanwen is a design manager that believes in interdisciplinary collaboration. During his time as program manager at frog design Shanghai studio, Huanwen facilitated teams with backgrounds in design, business, and technology to deliver innovation projects for automotive HMI, FinTech digital product, retail experience, car-sharing services, and smart, wearable products. Joining the MDE program, Huanwen is excited about exploring and solving societal problems by bridging his experiences in human-centered design and program management. Huanwen holds a B.A. Product Design from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and was a candidate for Master in Management at HEC Paris. Huanwen enjoys painting, acting, tennis, and collecting postcards.
B.A. in Design in Human Computer Interaction
Charmie has always been a curious observer. She received her B.A. from IIT Guwahati, and in her sophomore year, co-founded Zaffingo, India's largest yearbook-making platform today. Since her graduation, she has worked on building and augmenting design experiences across domains as a VR assistant at Microsoft Hololens, hardware modeling at Bosch, work on the official networking app for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, and application design for other educational and healthcare platforms. Before MDE, Charmie worked at Dunzo, India's first Google-invested startup. Beyond her core competencies as an interaction designer, she aims to employ her understanding of human psychology and cognitive empathy to empower minority groups.
B.A. in Mathematics
Divyanka is a mathematician by qualification, an engineer by passion and a creative enthusiast. Before joining MDE, Divyanka worked at Facebook, where she worked on multiple teams, including Analytics, Global Marketing Solutions, and Engineering. In her latest role, she led technical relationships with media partners from the sports and entertainment verticals in various regions in Asia Pacific, focusing on strategy, design, and development of tools and products. Her recent projects were in the space of chatbots and artificial intelligence, where she leveraged the power of machine learning and organised communication to increase business engagement, sales, and partner value. Apart from work, she's also a One Young World Ambassador.
B.A. in Design - Media Arts
After graduating from UCLA, Togo moved to Japan and joined Dentsu Tokyo, where he started his advertising career. As a creative director / creative technologist at Dentsu Lab Tokyo, Togo engaged in a wide range of projects that combined creativity and technology. His work has been recognized at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, Clio Awards, London International Awards, Epica Awards, Ars Electronica, STARTS Prize, and Japan Media Arts Festival. He was also chosen by the Foreign Policy Magazine as ”100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016.” Togo is a Fulbright Scholarship grantee.
B.A. in Economics and Political Science
Sarah has 5+ years of experience in strategy consulting for government and commercial clients with Deloitte Consulting LLP. Her clients have included USAID, IRS, USPS, and NASWA. She specializes in applying behavioral insights to craft experiments to enhance evidence-based decision making and policy designs. She formerly led Deloitte's Behavioral Insights group, and helped design the methodology for projects at the intersection of data science, behavioral science, and digital platforms. Sarah is passionate about understanding human behavior in order to help us make better decisions and correct for biases in ourselves and the algorithms we create. She is also fascinated by how governments can better predict future technological trends for social good, and understand its ethical, societal, and national security impacts.
Industrial and Systems Engineering, Business
Nishu has focused his career at 'intersections' - the intersection of engineering and business, operations and policy, and data and decision making. Prior to MDE, Nishu worked at Google as an operations specialist, project manager, and strategist across People Operations, Google Fiber, and Developer Relations. Within MDE, Nishu hopes to expand his abilities as a creative and technical problem solver for issues related to the future of cities, technology, and humanity.
Szu-Yu (Patricia) Lai
B.S. in Public Health / M.S. in Psychology
Patricia is a strong advocate for user-centered design. She believes understanding users is the fundamental of a successful design. Her interests span multiple areas, including psychology, neuroscience, biology, and technology. After graduating, Patricia joined ASUS Design Center, where she embarked on projects ranging from interface design in smartphones and laptops to interaction design in companion robots. She then worked at the HTC VIVE R&D Multimedia team, focusing on applying cognitive science to create a comfortable sensory experience in VR. Patricia plans to continue her work on user-experience design and explore next generation technologies.
B. A. in Visual and Environmental Studies
Oliver is a user experience designer and animator based in Cambridge. In his years with the design studio and consultancy INVIVIA, he has embarked on projects ranging from interactive public art installations, to architectural renders, to data and system visualization, to strategic consulting for clients. In parallel with his professional work, he experiments with film, animation, and art assemblages to explore novel ways of narrating immigrant memories and unraveling the complex identities shaped by displacement. He also dabbles in the indie game scene and indulges his global wanderlust.
Mitsue Guerrero Monsalve
B.A. in Industrial Design
Mitsue is a design strategist driven by complex challenges and endless optimism. She has studied and lived in Mexico, Spain, and Belgium, where she became a specialist in creative methodologies for strategy development. Before MDE, she was Lead Design Strategist at SBB and worked with clients like Samsung, WWF, Aeromexico, and Uber. She also co-founded Tothom, a strategic design startup, and became president of SODA (Society of Anonymous Designers). She's now interested in transforming environmental issues into social business opportunities through design and technology. Mitsue is a Fulbright scholarship grantee.
B.A. in Psychology
Maximilian is interested in the sustainable convergence of technology, creative practice, and economy. He aims to develop solutions that complement rather than overtake one's self and environment. Prior to MDE, Maximilian conducted drug research, produced music for artists and advertisements, and designed physical and digital systems addressing issues of attention and addiction. He enjoys mountains, mythology, and making art.
Master in Architecture
Anahide’s academic and professional path has always been about crossing areas of knowledge. During her master in collaboration at the ENPC engineering school, she studied structure and construction in architecture. Her professional experience has focused on urban master planning and high-end design, while her associative background specializes in the social and informal architecture of suburban, Parisian slums. As an architect, she is deeply interested in sustainable and innovative building systems and biomimicry. She is convinced that technology and innovation can contribute to solving social and environmentally complex problems. Anahide is a traveler, and is passionate about philosophy.
B.A. in Architecture
Elisa is currently investigating the relationship between labor and technology to understand how the “Future of Work” might (dis)empower vulnerable populations. Beyond her core competencies as a planner, architect, and interaction designer, her specialty lies in designing and using multidisciplinary methodologies to deconstruct emergent enterprise technology (re: human) problems. Most recently, she was a UX designer at Treasure Data / Arm Holdings where she led product vision and design implementation for a data management ecosystem capable of ingesting and unifying historical and streaming datasets for real-time data activation. She advocates for an inclusive and neurodiverse future where teams and tools can positively engage, rather than erase, the individual.
B.S. in Biomechanical Engineering
Elizabeth joined the MDE program after her studies at Stanford University, where she was a full-time student athlete competing in gymnastics. That experience gave her a unique perspective on biomechanics and allowed her to personally interact with the healthcare and medical device industries in many ways. Throughout college, her interest in product design and healthcare grew, and as she continues her studies in MDE, she aims to further her understanding and experience with the intersection of research, design, and innovation. Elizabeth hopes to one day design and engineer effective medical technology and/or services that are more accessible to people living in underserved communities. When not studying, she enjoys reading, watching movies, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family.
B.A. in Industrial Design
After spending years in United States, Korea, Russia, Myanmar, and Australia, Hane founded a digital healthcare company that originally spun off from Samsung Creative Lab. Experienced with real world R&D procedures, she practices an interdisciplinary approach in design, engineering, and business. She is interested in designing creative interfaces for sustainable digital solutions and seamless HCI. She enjoys playing tennis, flute, and traveling in her free time.
B.S. in Business Administration
With an interest in the intersection of technology and ethics, Arushi is learning how to combat the unintended consequences of technology on society, cities, and the environment. As a former business and product strategist from Silicon Valley, she hopes to promote proactive and responsible design and development practices through a combination of internal corporate behavior change and external policy solutions. Arushi started her career in technology investment banking before moving to business operations and strategy roles at LinkedIn and a Series A startup. Arushi is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers community through which she works on improving social health and fostering inter-generational relationships.
B.S Design, Innovation & Society
B.S Business & Management
Jake joined the MDE program to expand his capability to bring innovative solutions to industries he cares about. Before MDE, Jake worked at Facebook, managing marketing partnerships with some of the large financial services companies. Prior to Facebook, he started a company called Paywithme, which was a peer-to-peer payments platform focused on ensuring repayment to group and social organizers. He is passionate about the outdoors, and will jump at any chance to go skiing, hiking, surfing, or exploring.
Master of Engineering
After graduating from the University of Tokyo, Hiroaki became a government official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan. During his work, he has drafted law related to Japan's nuclear disaster prevention, written speeches for the minister, and created diplomatic documents for the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He also researched international economic situations and made the White Paper on International Economy and Trade. He believes that Japanese companies can further increase their competitiveness by creating a business environment that harmonizes design, engineering, and business. The Japanese Government fully sponsors him for his studies.
B.E. in Automotive Studies
Zongheng is an explorer at the intersection of mobility, machinery, and materials. As an interior automotive designer for General Motors, he merged design and engineering with aesthetics and technical feasibility to create new value for both mobility and people. Zongheng has over 8 years of design experience from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Formula SAE, Johnson Controls, Michelin, etc., which enables him to think both creatively and analytically to tackle complex problems with elegant designs. As a generator, he is passionate and sensitive about a broad range of topics , and is committed to exploring autonomy with future architecture of human mobility. He is a cafe racer and a fan of origami.
B.S. in Economics
B.A. in Fine Arts
Mengxi Tan is a tech consultant with specialization in data analytics, and a digital artist who conveys her ideas through design and animation. She has designed, tracked and modeled statistical business tests at Applied Predictive Technologies, MasterCard for clients in US, Japan and Taiwan. Mengxi has also collaborated with neuroscientists and engineers on a National Science Foundation project, ‘Self Reflected’, to create a gigantic visualization of human brain network. Going forward, Mengxi aims to explore how technology combined with design can improve problem solving in both business worlds and our everyday life. During her free time, Mengxi enjoys cooking, bread baking, gaming and outdoor activities.
Bachelor of Architecture
Daniela's interest in using design for social innovation projects started as a student of architectural design, and grew in scope with professional practice at -dxp- Experimental Design, a studio she co-founded in Ecuador. The studio offers design consulting, creates new products and furniture as produced in their workshop, and works on architecture and construction projects. A specialized branch, dxp-org, focuses on social innovation projects and works one-on-one with communities and stakeholders. She believes in the potential that lies within communities and people to improve their lives and their environment, and wants her professional practice to be a tool in that process.
B.S. in Biology
Cate joined the MDE program to find creative and collaborative solutions to issues in the healthcare delivery system. Prior to MDE, she worked in federal consulting, supporting novel Medicare payment methods to shift from a fee-for-service model to value-based payments. More recently, she served as a research analyst at the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, advocating for innovation in mental health policy and inclusive access to care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With a background in biology and public policy, Cate is a systems thinker and believes in interdisciplinary solutions to address complex problems.
Muhammad Hanif Wicaksono
Bachelor of Design in Product Design
Hanif comes from Indonesia. He took an interest in technology and started developing digital products with Labtek Indie. He then found excitement in research and strategy consultancy when he freelanced alongside Flamingo, Nation Insights, and Dalberg DIG, where he worked on projects for both private and public development. These experiences made him value design as a versatile lens to bridge critical, intricate problems, and moving forward, he plans to expand that view to a broader context and interconnected systems. Hanif enjoys concerts, games, cycling, science fiction, technological breakthrough, and almost anything.
BSc. in Business Economics and a minor in Art History
Emily Yang designs for extreme accessibility. Her designs push for a better human experience and advocate for users who are often overlooked. During her time at Harvard, she has designed for disaster evacuations and post-disaster communication. This past summer, she researched and designed affordable construction practices in rural Uganda and Rwanda. In the past, she designed experiences to combat online misinformation as a product designer for Factmata (Google Digital News Initiative UK), worked on decentralized ledger technology projects in Zimbabwe and was an experience designer in the American Express Europe Innovation Lab.
B.S. in Architecture
Mia has a background in Architecture. She worked at the Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris, developing concept, schematic, and design development phases of a 60-storey, mixed-use tower in Bangkok. She focused mainly on designing the complex vertical and horizontal circulation strategies to coordinate a series of elevators segregating populations. Mia is interested in the sociological aspect that lies beneath the design process and aspires to build impactful transformative solutions to address today's increasingly complex environment.
Bachelor of Architecture
Lisa is interested in the elegant blend of physical and digital experiences for positive human impact. She is also passionate about teaching the next generation of designers and thinkers. As a designer, Lisa developed concept stores and consumer products for omnichannel brands at Eight Inc., as well as malls and towers at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. As an educator, she taught design studio to young students at Cornell University and the ArtCenter College of Design. Most recently, she received a DesignTrust grant to research the future of brick and mortar in Hong Kong and China. Lisa is from Pasadena, California, and has a background in architecture from Cornell University.