Headshot of Adriana Santamaría P.

Design Strategist


Contexts of work


United States




Areas of Specialisation

Participatory design
Workshop design and facilitation
Social business model design
Design teaching and training
Visual thinking
Design strategy


Rural communities
Grassroots movements
Social entrepreneurship
Capacity building
Arts and culture

Headshot of Adriana Santamaría P.

Adriana Santamaría

I believe that design thinking is a problem-solving approach that should be available to everyone, so I share it as a way to strengthen local communities.

Adriana is a designer, entrepreneur, and educator focused on social impact with 15 years of experience. She is committed to reframing society's most pressing challenges into opportunities that create long-lasting value. She believes that strengthening communities' relationships and capabilities can help people challenge systemic inequality. The social change she explores is deeply rooted in her Colombian identity and grounded in peacebuilding.

As a designer, she takes a decolonial approach to her practice focusing on designing and facilitating participatory processes that embrace the knowledge of those with lived experience and allow them to better connect to their agency and power. She has worked in local contexts in Colombia, USA, Mexico, and Finland engaging with organisations and grassroots communities. Her experience extends over design strategy, co-design, futures thinking, community building, communication design, storytelling, and visual thinking.

As an entrepreneur, she is interested in creating sustainable business models that further social and environmental impact. She has co-founded a visual communication studio, a design for social impact workshop, and an education non-profit. Today she is exploring work through a cooperative model as an active member of Sonder Collective.

As an educator, she engages with theory through practice. She has been a lecturer in design for social innovation, multimedia communication, digital culture, and eco-design at undergraduate and graduate level programs in Colombia and Finland.

Adriana has contributed to social-driven and peacebuilding projects for clients like Humanity United, Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in Colombia, Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), Fondo Acción, and Startup Refugees.

She is an industrial designer from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, specialised in multimedia design at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and holds an MBA in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Interested in working with us for a better future?