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Creative Writer, Design for Change

In a nutshell:

IDEO’s Design for Change Studio in San Francisco is in search of a storyteller who is curious about people and what makes them tick. You get excited by using the craft of writing to create narratives with the power to transform people and create change. You know how to cut to the heart of what drives people to unlock epiphanies and galvanize communities. You demonstrate the ability to simplify the complex and communicate it in clear and inspiring ways, across a variety of mediums. The impact of your words is far greater than what’s on the page.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

IDEO is a human-centered design and innovation consultancy—and our design process begins and ends with storytelling. The right words can make healthy behavior change engaging, help ideas stick, and move people to action, whether inside a company or out in the world.

We need more than just your great writing: We’ll need you to help us design in a human-centered way to grow the insights from design research, to think strategically about our client’s business, and to bring our work to life in ways the world has never seen before.

Once here you will:

Writers at IDEO don’t just put the punch or polish in communications. They are designers who architect ideas alongside a multidisciplinary team of creative thinkers. Deep-diving into content and collaborating in a team environment are central to day-to-day living at IDEO. This Writer role is a designer on a multi-disciplinary team crafting holistic solutions for our clients.

You’ll do everything from uncovering insights to interpret and communicate those insights in an inspiring way. Your findings will catalyze design and strategic decisions. You will revel in the art of the details, with an itch to shape the bigger picture. You will cut straight to the heart of the matter, and love making complex stuff feel simple and intuitive. You will persuade tough crowds, fluidly crafting different tones to meet your audience. You will be nimble, and easily able to shift from punchy headlines to long-form stories. You will push your craft, and experiment with new and better ways to convey a message.

Relevant experience:

  • 5 to 7 years previous experience in a writing position in a creative environment
  • Consulting skills—you are good with clients, flexible, adaptable, and can confidently support your opinion and reasoning while keeping your ego in check
  • You are empathetic. All of our work takes an optimistic, human-centered approach
  • You’re comfortable storytelling across mediums: long form to short form, digital to environmental to print to film— whatever delivers the message best
  • You are a simplifier. You can get to the essence of things. You see the through-line beneath complicated ideas and then conveying them with clarity, purpose, and simplicity  
  • You are energized by working in teams. It’s totally ok to go heads-down when it comes time to crafting sentences, but you also believe that the best ideas are the product of creative collaboration

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO 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.

Some previous projects to check out:

Helping Leaders and Companies Evolve and Grow Through Human-Centered Design

Designing a Fintech Startup for Socially-Minded Investors

Cultivating Creative Competitiveness for Europe's Biggest Fashion Platform

What Makes Organizations More Creatively Competitive?

Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate

Invigorating a Company Culture from Within

Pop quiz, Hot Shot:

Tell us about a brand or organization that you think is doing a great job storytelling.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please apply with resume, cover letter, and portfolio that shows your range. We will only consider applications with writing samples. We are not asking you to create new work for us, instead, we’d love to see some of the things you’ve already written.

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.