Happy Black History Month and Lunar New Year from Foossa!

We are now in the lunar year of the Fire Rooster. For us, that means a time to rekindle our passions and to refine the focus of our work.

In our current political environment, civic engagement is more important than ever.

At Foossa, we’re using the new year to double down on our commitments to community-centered design, social innovation, and cooperation. We’re rethinking the ways in which we talk about our work and our values, and we’re looking forward to sharing more in the coming months.

What are you working on? How can we help?

Some things happening on our end:

We have public courses on Design Thinking and Storytelling for Social Impact coming up in March through our partnerships with the Parsons School of Design and NYU. Learn more on our website. We recently facilitated design and innovation workshops at the Cooper Union and at an internet hardware company in Taiwan.

We are also currently cooking up some plans with our partners at the DoTank and Public School to develop additional training content. In particular, we are looking for NYC-based partners to provide space, materials, and/or scholarships for our summer DoTank course.

We’re also wrapping up some work on artificial intelligence, big data, and social equity. More on this in subsequent updates.

In the meantime, any thoughts on the questions we are living/practicing? How do we democratize design? How do we design (for) citizenship and democracy?

We look forward to hearing from you. 
DCRLee-Sean, and Robb

AuthorLee-Sean Huang


VIDEO: Lee Sean and David talk about Storytelling for Good

Lee Sean and David spoke at StoryForward NYC about how socially conscious organizations can use story telling to more effectively achieve their mission.


A few of our favorite reads this month


This researcher programmed bots to fight racism on Twitter. It worked.

“Despite rising concern among the public, social-media companies have had little success stemming the wave of online harassment….As part of research recently published in the journal Political Behavior, I conducted an experiment on Twitter to find out the best tactics people can use to discourage other users from using harassing language. In the short run, heavy-handed sanctions like account bans can actually embolden users who are censored. There is excellent evidence that this happens in China when the regime employs censorship.

A better option might be to empower users to improve their online communities through peer-to-peer sanctioning. “

Trump's Data Team Saw a Different America - And They Were Right.

“Nobody saw it coming. Not the media. Certainly not Hillary Clinton. Not even Donald Trump’s team of data scientists, holed up in their San Antonio headquarters 1,800 miles from Trump Tower, were predicting this outcome. But the scientists picked up disturbances — like falling pressure before a hurricane — that others weren’t seeing. It was the beginning of the storm that would deliver Trump to the White House…

Trump’s numbers were different, because his analysts, like Trump himself, were forecasting a fundamentally different electorate than other pollsters and almost all of the media: older, whiter, more rural, more populist. And much angrier at what they perceive to be an overclass of entitled elites. In the next three weeks, Trump channeled this anger on the stump, at times seeming almost unhinged."

How One Florida City is Reinventing Itself With UX Design

“We were given the charge by the elected officials to make the city more competitive,” Lyons says. “We came to the conclusion that like great companies, great cities need to think about user experience. That’s the biggest [innovation] differentiator. For cities, user experience is not at the forefront. We were a one-way kind of city, meaning we engage and deliver. So when you think of citizens and users not as customers, but as co-designers of those services, in the end you get a much better experience because it’s one based on what they need rather than what the government needs. Policy making is done as one track and implementation is done in a separate track. How might the two really influence each other?”



Storytelling for Social Impact

Four Week Course at NYU School of Professional Studies
Begins in March 2017.

More details and registration here:

Design Thinking Fundamentals

Four Week Course at the Parsons School of Design at The New School
Begins in March 2017.

Design Thinking is a practice pioneered by top design firms like IDEO and used by some of the world's most innovative companies. In this course, you learn the methodology and develop the mindset that will equip you to better understand problems, unlock hidden needs, and design groundbreaking innovations to address those needs. No design experience needed!

More details and registration here:


The New America Fellows Program is now open for applications:


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

Video of Foossa's David Colby Reed and Lee-Sean Huang at the StoryForward NYC Storytelling for Social Good panel in November with Ram Devineni, Andrea Phillips, and Dan Bigman.


Storytelling can have a powerful impact on the ways we see and interact with the world around us. From building awareness and inspiring change to leading political discourse and impacting the laws that both protect and exploit human rights across the globe. 

This event featured impactful socially charged stories from award-winning directors, producers, and writers whose projects have tackled such hard hitting issues as acid attacks on women in India, human rights, racial inequality, gang rape, and the effects of genocide on survivors in Rwanda.

AuthorLee-Sean Huang