Sandy Speicher – Unleash

Sandy Speicher

Managing Director, Education Practice and Partner, IDEO

Sandy Speicher is a Partner at the global design and innovation firm IDEO, and Managing Director of IDEO’s education practice. She is currently a member of the Thought Leadership Council at the Khan Academy, and serves as a strategic advisor to organisations including the Clinton Global Initiative, K-12 Lab Network at Stanford d.school, and Pioneer Academies in South Africa. Recently, she helped Carnegie Corporation launch 100K in 10, which President Clinton has referred to as a new model for social change.

Before joining IDEO, while working as a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Sandy found that there was a gap between how the world had changed, and how teachers were preparing students to navigate that world. Believing that design could help with this gap, Sandy decided to work at the intersection of design and education. For the last 10 years, she’s been building IDEO’s education practice, discovering and pushing the boundaries of what design can do to advance education in schools and school systems and to empower students, teachers, parents so that they can be agents of change for how our classrooms evolve.

Sandy has led her team to create a scalable, affordable school model in Peru, developed strategies to improve schools for the poor in India, designed learning tools to develop basic literacy in youth in Brazil, and developed a new vision for the food system in San Francisco’s schools. With Riverside School in India, she created the Design for Change Contest, which engages students around the globe in creating new solutions for social challenges in their communities. She instigated Design Thinking for Educators, a free downloadable toolkit that empowers teachers to be change agents in their schools, which has grown into a community of over 100,000 teachers, called The Teachers Guild.

Sandy and her work have been cited in major media including the New York Times, Quartz and the Wall Street Journal. She is also a sought-after speaker on the value of design thinking in education and government.