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Justin W. Cook      

Founding Director of the Center for Complexity at Rhode Island School of Design

Justin W. Cook is a strategic designer working on the world’s most challenging problem sets such as healthcare, sustainability, and education. His professional passion is to tackle these systems challenges by designing innovative organizational architectures.

Justin is the founder of the strategic design consulting firm CMMNWLTH PRJCTS LLC and he maintains several professional affiliations. He is Senior Lead for Strategy at the Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra. His current work in the organization's Insight and Foresight Team includes research in support of Sitra’s sustainable wellbeing platform. He is completing an initiative on the future of education compiled in a book entitled Sustainability, Human Wellbeing and the Future of Education. He has advised Sitra’s project teams on impact investing, catalyzing the third sector, internationalization and developing solutions to trends challenging Western democracies. Previously he co-founded Helsinki Design Lab which worked to bring strategic design into government. He also helped to develop and manage Sitra’s Low2No sustainable urban development project that created Helsinki's first carbon-neutral city block.

Justin is a faculty member and Provost Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design where he works to advance strategic design as a cornerstone of RISD’s academic future. He advises research teams at MIT and Harvard on how to use design as a transformative capacity.

Currently at MIT, he is a strategic advisor to MIT Collaborative Initiatives, which is concluding a project with John Hopkins University Systems Institute aiming at transforming the Clinical Trials system. In 2016, he joined the OECD’s Observatory for Public Sector Innovation as an advisor on systems change wicked problems for the public sector. Since 2014, Justin has been an instructor and academic director of the Institute for Design and Public Policy; a collaboration between RISD and the US Department of State and Office of Management and Budget.


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