One of the most exciting things about the Acara Challenge are the experts from whom we get to learn. One such expert is Linda Pulik, who keeps us thinking about design processes and thinking. Linda brings a great breadth and depth of experience from both academia and the private sector. She holds a Master’s degree in Human-Centered Product Design from the Institute of Design (Illinois Institute of Technology) as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary, Canada. With an interest in Design’s role in economic development, Linda’s work focuses on implementing business strategies that she helps design, along with the products and services they refer to. She founded Bao Design Lab, a nonprofit organization that develops affordable medical devices for clinics & hospitals in the developing world. Linda has done design studies in China, India, Malawi, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa and Uganda on projects as varied as social networking applications and a mechanical Braille writer.She has worked as a Design Consultant to Honeywell in Bangalore, and at industrial design consultancies in Chicago. Linda currently teaches graduate and undergraduate product design courses at IIT Chicago.

Linda’s insights about structuring the course and the cross-country collaboration are especially valuable. Over the past 4 years she has focused on global design projects aimed at establishing working relationships between university students in different countries. She leads cross-functional teams through a process that combines design thinking and business practice to develop products, services and business models for social enterprise.

In addition to advising the Acara Institute on strategy and program design, Linda is currently an advisor to the IIT Chicago teams participating in the Acara Challenge.