We are pleased to welcome Robb Nanus to the Foossa team. We also got some sweet new office digs at WeWork Irving Place!

A bit more about Robb:

Robb is an award-winning live event and digital producer. At Foossa, he will serve as project producer and strategist, where he ensures that our projects run smoothly, on-time, and on-budget, and that our partners stay happy in the sometimes difficult journey of co-creation.

Outside of Foossa, he currently works primarily with influencer/creator Max Emerson. Recent project include the six time award winning musical
Newton's Cradle, the Obie Award-winning theatrical experience The Woodsman at New World Stages, the Drama Desk-award winning musical The Lion and the sold out, New York premiere of Andrew Lippa's I Am Harvey Milk starring Kristin Chenoweth, the Orchestra of St Luke's and the 120 member All Star Broadway Men’s Chorus at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. He also recently worked on the Broadway musical Allegiance, primarily acting to build community and education opportunities with celebrity influencer George Takei and the rest of the creative team around the rich historical contexts of the groundbreaking piece.

Foossa is also honored to be a part of the ADELPHI Strategy Collective on big data and social innovation!

More information here:


Direct from our founders Lee Sean Huang and David Colby Reed


ETHOS Papers interviews Foossa co-founder Lee Sean Huang

What are the five most interesting things that you have come across or read recently?

1. Bruce Lee Podcast: Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee and culture analyst Sharon Ann Lee (no relation) talk about the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Even if you aren’t a Bruce Lee or martial arts fan, the podcast goes into the philosophical side of Bruce Lee and is relevant for anyone interested in timeless wisdom the creative process.


A few of our favorite reads this month


The President in conversation with MIT’s Joi Ito and WIRED’s Scott Dadich on the future of Artificial Intelligence

JOI ITO: This may upset some of my students at MIT, but one of my concerns is that it’s been a predominately male gang of kids, mostly white, who are building the core computer science around AI, and they’re more comfortable talking to computers than to human beings. A lot of them feel that if they could just make that science-fiction, generalized AI, we wouldn’t have to worry about all the messy stuff like politics and society. They think machines will just figure it all out for us.


Marketing Melancholy - An interview with the designer of Sanrio’s Newest Character: Gudetama, a sad egg

AMY: I was eating a raw egg on rice at home one morning and thought to myself that the egg was kind of cute, but entirely unmotivated and indifferent as well. Eggs are phenomenal! The taste, lustre, nutritional value, and countless ways they can be prepared make eggs great, but for me, eggs that are relegated to the fate of being eaten also seemed despairing… They seem entirely absent from any effort or energy, almost as if they were sick of the competitive world around them.

The personality I was imagining seemed to me to parallel people in modern society who despair amid economic hard times and who are talented but don’t feel like throwing themselves into anything.



Navigating innovation in the Public Sector

Kit Lykkekoft, senior consultant at Workz, breaks down the current innovation trend within the public sector and outlines when each may be best applicable. Covered trends include design, behavioral insights, big data, open data, positive deviance, challenges & prizes and serious games.


Upcoming Workshops:

Storytelling for Social Good

Sunday, November 13
11:00am to 1:00pm
Adorama, 42 West 18th St

RSVP here:

Transformative Storytelling - Using Narrative to Communicate, Inspire and Active Your Community

Monday, November 14th
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Centre for Social Innovation, 601 W 26th St, Suite #325

Get tickets here:


Upcoming Panel:

HARVARD IN TECH: Design Leaders in Tech

Tuesday, November 22nd
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Work-Bench, 110 5th Avenue, 5th Floor

Tickets can be found here:

Upcoming Event:

New York Social Good HOLIDAY Bash 2016

Tuesday, December 6th
Wix Lounge, 235 W 23rd St, 8th Fl

Tickets and RSVP information coming soon.


Work with Foossa!

Have a project that might be a good fit for Foossa? Or a conference you need someone to speak at? We are currently available for workshops, speaking engagements, and new projects for 2017. Reach out and let’s have a chat!

AuthorRobb Nanus

Social Innovation Fund, Pax Solaria, A Boldly Better Future (and More)

Foossa’s David Colby Reed and Lee-Sean Huang recently spoke at the Social Innovation Fund convening in Washington DC, where we talked about our work with Design for Financial Empowerment through our affiliation with the DESIS Lab at Parsons School of Design. We talked about ways that designers and providers of public services can better collaborate through more flexible contracting arrangements that don’t pre-assume solutions before conducting design research and reframing initial briefs. We also advocated for creating openings for CDOs, Chief Design Offices in public administration.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact — mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results.

In August, Lee-Sean co-presented a workshop on human-centered design with V. Mary Abraham at ILTACON (the International Legal Technology Association Conference) in National Harbor, Maryland.

David will be back in DC later in September to representing the DESIS Lab and Design for Financial Empowerment as a panelist at the CFED Assets Learning Conference.

Human Insights 201: Designing and Testing Solutions that Fit Clients’ Lives
New programs or services sometimes fall short of their expected outcomes. Formerly successful programs sometimes fade in effectiveness or popularity as client needs and behaviors change. What approaches can enable us to better respond to the complex and ever-evolving needs of our clients? In this session, practitioners from a community development financial institution, a citywide tax time collaborative and a national nonprofit will share what they did to bring potential clients into the center of their program and service development process. They’ll highlight what they did to make the design process more participatory, how they tested the viability of new service or program concepts, and how the insights they gathered from designing and testing impacted their projects and organizations. This session pairs well with “Human Insights 101: Discovering Clients’ Context and Perspective,” “Human Insights Workshop: Client Journey Mapping” and “Consumer Engagement: Helping People Want What They Need.” This session is sponsored by Citi.
Speakers: Amanda Blondeau, Northern Initiatives; David Colby Reed, DESIS Lab; Amanda Hahnel, Doorways to Dreams Fund; Marshall Sitten, Citi; Pamela Chan, CFED (moderator)

Lee-Sean will be appearing on a panel at the Pax Solaria: The Future of Humanity conference in New York City on Saturday, September 24. Fellow panelists include: Jen Begeal, Miguel Sanchez and Caitlin Burns. Panel description:

Storytelling & Experience: Creating Cultural Communities
How the tools of social communications have changed our cultural development and how we can learn the paths of future society. We all have friends we made on the internet, as lives and relationships are increasingly built online, what does this mean to communities and cultures?

Get tickets:

Transform How the New York City Government Deals With Design

We’re excited to see that NYC is addressing the question of how to better collaborate with design firms.

NYC is a global hub for innovation and design expertise. Through Government x Design, the City is ready to work with the design community to transform how government interacts with the public through the Design Services Master Contract.

Learn more and contribute here

The Roddenberry Prize: $1 Million for a Boldly Better Future

Star Trek recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original series.

We need daring ideas from innovative thinkers to achieve the future that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry imagined.

Learn more

HT: Context Partners

Cheryl Heller: Our Future Depends on the Words We Use to Describe It

All change begins with language, and the change we create is determined by the freshness and honesty with which we communicate. Cheryl Heller tells us how words can make us shallow and dumb, or smart, empathetic, creative, infectious leaders. And why words are the only power we have to change things.
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA, founder of the design lab CommonWise, and winner of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She is a business strategist and communication designer who has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world, helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs.

AuthorLee-Sean Huang

Awesome Queer Kids Stuff, Designing Financial Empowerment, New Power, Ovarian Cancer Project, and More

Summer salutations from David Colby and Lee-Sean of Foossa. We are having an eventful June:

Lee-Sean is offering another edition of his Visual Storytelling workshop on July 18 in NYC. He recently taught a movement workshop at ITP Camp about kinesthetic conversations.

What are you working on? And how could we help? We would love to hear from you.

Awesome NYC: Queer Kid Stuff

In our capacity as trustees of the Awesome Foundation New York, we are pleased to announce that this month’s $1,000 grant will be going to Queer Kid Stuff, a new educational webseries creating LGBTQ+ videos for kids. Queer representation and content for children is scarce and Queer Kid Stuff aims to eliminate stigma by educating future generations through free and entertaining videos. The project allows young people to have access to a queer resource that is specifically made for them.

This AwesomeNYC grant will go directly toward producing the first full season of Queer Kid Stuff’s educational videos.

Learn more about this project on the Awesome Foundation website

Designing for Financial Empowerment

Designing for Financial Empowerment (DFE) is a cross-sector collaboration between the City of New York, Citi Community Development and the Parsons DESIS Lab to explore how service design can be used to make public sector financial empowerment services more effective and accessible. This landmark initiative challenges the cycle of poverty by holistically examining current public policy and services; understanding the interrelated needs of New York City’s most vulnerable populations; and enabling community members to participate in the co-design of the very services that they use, alongside policymakers, advocates and service providers.

We have been working as design leads for the financial counseling project in the DFE portfolio since last December.

Learn more about this project on the Core77 site.

New Power

We are working with Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms on building community and conducting research on new power for their upcoming book, which is scheduled for publication by Penguin Random House in 2017.

The book will build on their Harvard Business Review article“Understanding New Power,” a popular TED talk on the subject, and an unfolding debate in business, media and politics.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

The Ovarian Cancer Project

We recently helped our friends at GreenHouse and the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation to launch the Ovarian Cancer Project. Foossa helped design the visual identity and web presence for the project.
The Ovarian Cancer Project aims to build a comprehensive resource for women struggling with ovarian cancer, their families, and those who support them. Learn more and participate here.

Workshop: Visual Storytelling (July 18 in NYC)

Join Foossa’s Lee-Sean Huang and Be Social Change on Monday, July 18 from7 to 9 pm for Visual Storytelling: Foundational Skills of Digital Communication & Design.



AuthorLee-Sean Huang