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Hello, I’m Sandy Speicher

CEO

As CEO of IDEO, I believe design is the only way through. No matter what, everything businesses and social systems are doing is being designed. The crux of it for me is this: How do we do that well, in a way that cares for people and the planet?

Joined IDEO:
2004

Full Bio

As CEO of IDEO, Sandy Speicher listens to the world's business and policy leaders ask questions about how to navigate these uncertain times and the systemic challenges that dominate them. In this period of widespread reevaluation—of our relationship with the planet, with life and work, and with each other—Sandy believes design has a critical role to play in helping us create a better future.

Over nearly two decades Sandy has steered some of IDEO’s most significant client relationships toward positive impact for both business and society. Her teams have designed numerous innovations and transformations, including a digital platform to help first-generation college students thrive, a new vision for the food system in San Francisco’s schools, and a curriculum to bring more empathy into the criminal justice system.

Educators and social critics have lauded Sandy’s iconic work with Innova Schools in Peru as a game-changing exemplar of systems design. Underpinning this work was a mission to lift up the middle class by providing affordable, international-quality education, and Sandy’s approach was to design a school system where students, educators, and families are the agents of change who can ensure their learning environments continuously evolve and adapt to new challenges. As of 2021, Innova Schools has grown to more than 60 schools, 2,400 teachers, and 40,000 students in Peru, and has scaled to Mexico and Colombia. In 2015 and again in 2020, the World Economic Forum named Innova as one of three benchmark school systems in the world, and it acknowledged the model in 2020 as pioneering the future of education.


Publications such as the New York Times, Quartz, and the Wall Street Journal have widely cited Sandy and her design work. She has taught at the Stanford d.school, Washington University in St. Louis, and Redding Elementary School in San Francisco, where she introduced design thinking to fifth graders. She serves on the boards of IDEO.org and Atölye, is an advisor to the Khan Academy and Just Capital, and frequently speaks about the value of design thinking to designers, educators, and leaders in business and government around the world.