John Bielenberg:
The best way to design a better world is by thinking wrong

John has won more than 250 design awards in his career, including the 2013 AIGA Gold Medal for leadership in the design for good movement. He became an AIGA Fellow in 2008. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his design projects, and staged a solo exhibition of his work in 2000. In 2009, John was awarded the Washington University Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship and went on to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Maryland Institute College of Art. He was also awarded the 2011 NASAD Citation for outstanding work and overall impact in the fields of art and design, as an author, educator, social activist, and designer. He currently teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco where he runs a Think Wrong program called Secret Project.


In 2003, John created Project M, an immersive program designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work—especially their wrongest thinking—can have significant impact on communities. Project M has developed projects in Alabama, Baltimore, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Detroit, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Kansas, Maine, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Oklahoma.

John co-founded Future Partners, a Silicon Valley Innovation firm, in 2012 to teach Think Wrong Practices to individuals, teams, and organizations around the world.