Short bio

John Bielenberg is Executive Producer, Design, for Future. He delights in helping people find the courage and sense of humor to bring their stories, ideas, and ingenuity out into the world—the wilder and crazier, the better.

John Bielenberg



In February 2013, John was awarded the AIGA Medal, the design organization’s highest honor. With the award, AIGA recognized him as a “designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world,” specifically citing his “innovative investigations into the practice and understanding of design and leadership in the ‘design for good’ movement.”

In addition to this recent honor, John has won more than 250 design awards in his career, and became an AIGA Fellow in 2008. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his design projects, and staged a solo exhibition of his work in 2000. John was awarded the 2011 National Association of Schools of Art and Design Citation for outstanding work and overall impact in the fields of art and design as an author, educator, social activist, and designer.

He has been featured in the ID 50 and teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

 In 2003, John created Project M, an immersive program designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work—especially their “wrongest” thinking—can have significant impact on communities. Project M has developed projects in Alabama, Baltimore, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Detroit, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Maine, Minneapolis, and New Orleans.

Session: Global Impact

“Into the Blue Sky: Global Design Visions
. John will talk about the impact of design at a global scale: how designers are transforming and informing across cultures and disciplines, and how this is removing barriers and creating a more fluid exchange among designs, users, and communities.