Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA, and the founder of the design lab CommonWise. She is a business strategist and communication designer who has founded two companies and 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.
She is an Advisor to PopTech, a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab, and the Lewis Institute, on the Innovation Advisory Board for the Lumina Foundation, and serves on the board of DataKind. She has written for many publications, including the Unreasonable Institute, Good.is, NextBillion, Forbes and Dowser.
Cheryl is an AIGA medalist, and has been profiled through articles in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, Graphis, and Communication Arts. Her work has been published widely.
Her clients have included Ford, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, Cemex, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L.Oreal, Hearst, Sappi, WWF, Audubon, IDE, Concern Worldwide and the Girl Scouts of America. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $12 million to designers working for the public good. She also advised Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum on the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.”