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Program Co-Lead, IDEO CoLab

In a nutshell:

IDEO San Francisco is in search of a Program Co-Lead for IDEO CoLab’s Last Money Mile Program, a five-year partnership between IDEO, IDEO.org, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Program Co-Lead will shepherd our Last Mile Money portfolio to new heights, building relationships with key global and local organizations, driving our prototyping and piloting focus areas, and ultimately, designing for more inclusion and access to the financial system.

The ideal person is passionate about the intersection of social sector, design, and financial services. You have worked in the financial space for years, and you can’t wait to roll up your sleeves and do it again for an organization with huge ambitions. You love building networks to unlock opportunities, inspire others, and create impact. You know how to close the deal, mobilize the team, and get things done. You’re guided by your business sense and your people sense, and you know how to make decisions that are good for the organization, its strategy, its impact, its people and its sustainability. Balancing multiple projects and prioritizing your time comes naturally to you. 

Why is this role important for IDEO CoLab’s work?

As a Program Co-Lead, you will make the biggest impact by enabling us to design for impact alongside the organizations we partnership. While here, you have the opportunity to drive program strategy, partner relationships, and content focus areas to make our work as meaningful as possible to as many people as possible. You’ll work closely with CoLab leadership, as well as the Last Mile Money team, to build out the global program, with the ultimate goal of putting more digital financial services innovations into the world.

Once here you will:

Be a Deep Expert in Financial Inclusion and Venture Catalyst

  • Creating an organizational vision that unlocks the potential of IDEO, Gates, and other Last Mile Money partners to create real impact in the world.
  • Acting as a subject matter expert with a finger on the pulse of digital financial services and the priority countries and markets that we operate in.
  • Apply a venture-focused, commercially driven approach to designing for financial inclusion.

Be a Relationship Builder

  • Engage organizations such as startups, banks, and other network actors, to participate in the Last Mile Money program.
  • Leverage existing relationships in the sector, and build new ones, to guide organizations as they operationalize the solutions we design together.
  • Represent the program and provide thought leadership at financial inclusion sector conferences, technical workshops, and publications.

Be an Experiment and Impact Driver

  • Take a 30,000ft view on the Last Mile Money program: setting strategic direction and goals, foreseeing challenges to implementation, and actively seeking out strategies and resources to reduce risk.
  • Roll up your sleeves and design and prototype alongside the team to push initiatives forward.
  • Guide discrete project and experiment bursts throughout the overall  design, in-market testing, and implementation process, ensuring teams do their best creative and operational thinking.
  • Represent the Last Mile Money program externally, helping to grow the program’s network and influence.

What can IDEO CoLab offer you?

IDEO CoLab is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career. 

About IDEO CoLab:

IDEO CoLab is IDEO’s platform for collaborative impact. We connect organizations to shape technology’s impact on the world. Check out our website to learn about our work, team, and network. 

Relevant experience:

Must Haves

  • 7+ years of relevant experience - mostly in the financial inclusion or financial services space.
  • Ability to code-switch between the boardroom and the field.
  • A proven leader in venture design and human-centered design.
  • Desire to build and lead a team that's focused on improving the lives of low-income people in emerging markets, and demonstrated skills working with diverse teams, including the ability to inspire, motivate, influence, and hold colleagues accountable to high standards (ideally with some experience with creative talent).
  • Comfort with driving results in a highly ambiguous environment.

Nice to Haves 

  • Expert relationships with senior leaders in global financial services (e.g., business development experience with banks, network operators, startups, nonprofits, foundations, and/ or individual philanthropists).
  • Experience leading complex projects.

Our work environment appeals to self-directed, flexible team players that have great interpersonal skills, learn quickly, embrace ambiguity, prototype new thinking and relish the opportunity to guide potential clients and project teams in translating challenges and questions into opportunities for innovation. This role requires design sensibilities, business acumen, and client empathy.  

The position will be based in IDEO San Francisco. Significant international travel will be required.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please apply with a resume and cover letter (yes, we read cover letters). 

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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