Emilia Klimiuk

Researcher & Designer

Area of specialization
Design Research
Service and Systems Design
Facilitation and Training

Contexts of Work
Nigeria, Uganda, Myanmar
Kenya, Ethiopia, USA

Financial Services
Mobile Services in Low Resource Settings

Design Lead
Research Lead

“I believe in the power of local wisdom. Great solutions never come from the outside. Instead, they are guided by the people experiencing the problem.”

Based in Nigeria, born in Poland, grew up in the USA. I have over 10 years of experience as a designer and researcher, 5 of which I spent working in Africa and Asia.

I am passionate about designing systems & services that empower illiterate or vulnerable populations, especially around finance, healthcare and issues caused by urban poverty. My expertise is in human-centered design—a process that brings together end users, communities, stakeholders, and experts from diverse disciplines to collectively solve these large problems.

Some of my recent projects include working with The World Bank to develop a digital loan for farmers in Myanmar, researching informal payment mechanisms in Nigeria, exploring a new way for a major US tech company to deliver reliable internet in Uganda and Nigeria, and
and partnering with Marie Stopes International on the SIFPO2 project in Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Previously, I spent two years in Uganda, working as a Product Development Lead at Grameen Foundation with the aim of improving access to financial services to vulnerable populations. I have also spent 3 years as an adjunct faculty at the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, where I taught human-centered design in a course on Global Challenges and Working in Low Resource Settings.

I joined Sonder to stay connected to a group of inspiring, like-minded people while living in the vibrant, but at times isolating, city of Lagos.