John Bielenberg

Founder, Future Partners

“Optimism is the thing that drives you forward.”

We believe that design is inherently optimistic. To take on a big challenge, especially one as large and intractable as poverty, we have to believe that progress is even an option. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t even try. Optimism is the embrace of possibility, the idea that even if we don’t know the answer, that it’s out there and that we can find it.

Human-centered designers are persistently focused on what could be, not the countless obstacles that may get in the way. Constraints are inevitable, and often they push designers toward unexpected solutions. But it’s our core animating belief that shows just how deeply optimistic human-centered designers are: Every problem is solvable.

John Bielenberg

John Bielenberg is a graphic designer, the winner of an AIGA Gold Medal, and the co-founder of Future Partners and founder of Project M. Future is a rapid ingenuity firm that engages with organizations and institutions to benefit people, communities, society, and the environment. Project M connects young designers and creatives to broader social missions.