At TED last year, Ideo CEO Tim Brown called designers "a priesthood in black turtlenecks and designer glasses." In his recent book, Change by Design, he challenges them to move beyond creating pretty objects -- to think big. Ideo's Human Centered Design Toolkit, a free guide for NGOs and social enterprises working in the developing world, is a prime example. The collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides a clear process in a variety of fields to help raise people out of poverty. So far, the kit has been downloaded more than 23,000 times. Of course, Ideo still produces pretty things -- its Que reader for Plastic Logic and the Bayer Contour USB glucose meter are both stunning. But for Brown, bigger is better. Together again with the Gates Foundation, Ideo is working on improving access to safe drinking water for the world's poorest people.
Palo Alto, CA
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total revenues for most recent fiscal year
what the company is most famous for
Its human-centered approach to design.
why it's innovative
In addition to producing intuitive and beautiful objects, Ideo uses its well-honed design process to tackle urgent and highly complex problems such as security, water scarcity and global poverty.