david o'donnell headshot

Design Strategist & Researcher


Contexts of work

United States


Côte d'Ivoire




Areas of Specialisation

Design strategy
Strategic planning
Design Research
Workshop design
Workshop facilitation
Information architecture
Digital prototyping
Transition design
Constructive critique


Energy transition 
Climate change solutions
Culture and institutional change
Urban planning and public policy 
Public health
Non-violent direct action

david o'donnell headshot

David O'Donnell

Design is a process for solving problems and we have so many challenging problems to solve. Our work should be always about democratizing the tools of design and sharing them with as many people as we can so that we can transition to the just, non-extractive, sustainable future we all know is possible.

David is a design thinker who has spent his career helping companies and institutions leverage deep empathy for the people they serve to create thoughtful, effective solutions to their most important challenges. 

David has paired his deep expertise in applied research with a masters degree (and work experience) in public policy in order to think at both the systemic and human levels. 

His career in design and management consulting has taught him the importance of putting people first, cutting to clarity, and the best ways to manage multi-partner collaborations to bring new ideas to the world. 

His career in public service, social innovation and climate activism have taught him that solving the world’s most significant challenges is, not only possible, but the source of a deep and fulfilling, personal purpose.

David is excited to work with the makers at Sonder because of their commitment to social innovation and the fact that they extend their design sensibility to the design of Sonder itself. Cooperative, decentralized and creative spaces will be at the heart of the social and energy transition currently in progress across the world and Sonder is modeling that future today. 

David lives in Chicago with his partner, daughter and dogs. He is a practicing Buddhist, theater artist, and dance movement hobbyist. During the warmer months of the year he is committed to spending as much time as possible in the wild woods talking to trees.

Interested in working with us for a better future?