Jocelyn Wyatt, Co-Lead + Executive Director, IDEO.org

Jocelyn Wyatt is a pioneer. How else do you describe someone who has been on the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship and international development?

Since 2009, Jocelyn and her growing team at Ideo.org have led the global community in the use of human-centered design to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Jocelyn chatted with Changemakers in NYC about her trials and tribulations working in India and East Africa, learning from caring mentors and experiences with challenging managers, and growing her own team with IDEO.org in New York.

Here are some of our favorite moments from the Chat:

  • It’s truly a journey Jocelyn graduated college with two simple prerequisites for finding a job. First, she wanted to explore how to do good in the world and second, she wanted to travel. Since setting those guidepost, she has worked in international aid organizations, social ventures, and now a hybrid social impact organizaiton. Jocelyn found that there is more than one path to doing, and built up a very thick passport to boot.
  • Go to your managers with solutions to your problems, not just your problems – A good rule Jocelyn learned early in her career with one of her first managers, and one she recommends to all her colleagues.
  • On Mentorship – The relationships with male and female mentors can be very different…is one better than the other? No, both serve an important purpose. For Jocelyn, she found her female mentors offer personal guidance while her male mentors offer practical support and professional interest.
  • Jocelyn chat w. BrieThink about developing your “T” The T is your depth and breadth. To figure out your T, think about where you have deep knowledge and skills (accounting, policy, law, medicine, communications, sales, etc.)? That is the vertical line of your T. Now, what about your breadth? The range of skills in general management, cross-sector knowledge, and other applicable skills. This is the horizontal top of the T . Many employers look for this, so think about your T to understand where you can continue to grow.
  • Your CV does not say it all – especially if you are looking to transition to new industries, sectors and/or roles. It may be difficult to understand what skills and experiences transfer to what you are looking for. Your best bet is to set-up informational interviews and lots of them. Can anyone top Jocelyn’s record of 75 informational interviews in 2 weeks when she was job hunting?
  • Innovating to overcome challenges – It’s an unhappy reality that sometimes to be taken seriously in an outdated, old school environment, we have to man-up…literally. When encountering resistance from older men in her field, Jocelyn would bring older colleagues, often men, in order to get through the meetings. Here is to innovating in order to breakthrough…and to changing the world so women in future generations won’t have to resort to such solutions!
  • Leading through connecting with others – this is how Jocelyn described her leadership style. Through spending time with her own team, her clients, and her partners, Jocelyn beautifully combines personal connection with incredibly complex and important work.

Want to learn more about human-centered design? Visit IDEO.org and consider partnering with Changemakers to complete a HCD online course!

Thank you to Jocelyn for spending time with the Changemaker network, and allowing us to welcome you to NYC in style!


CMC screen  intros jess & brieJocelyn chat w. Brie  group cc w. jocelynJocelyn Talk CC chat Q&A


Photo Credit: Debi Spindelman