Katie Kirsch

I’m Katie,

a designer and business strategist at IDEO.

Over the past few years, I’ve played an interdisciplinary role at IDEO that has spanned marketing, business development & strategy, and design research on the side.

In my current role, I help manage a multi-million-dollar portfolio with Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups alike, spanning AI and emerging tech, software-hardware integration, mobility, retail, consumer products, and health & wellness. I’m on the front lines leading conversations with clients about fees, deliverables, impact, success metrics, constraints, and the innovation process. I revel in identifying ways that we can help companies solve their most pressing challenges—which requires deeply understanding clients' objectives and needs, structure, and capabilities, and clearly communicating the value we can deliver.


Outside IDEO, I run a non-profit that empowers girls to step up as leaders and change the world.

I co-founded Girls Driving for a Difference back in college, as a student at the Stanford d.school. We first got started with a crazy cross-country road-trip, where we spent 14 weeks driving across the US in an RV, teaching design thinking & leadership workshops for 1,500+ girls across 30 states. (Thank you, Kickstarter!)


Our workshop now lives on as a physical teaching toolkit and digital curriculum that help guide facilitators step-by-step to host workshops in their communities. These materials have reached hundreds of schools and educators in 15 countries and 4 different languages.

Last summer of 2018, we organized and ran our first superhero-themed summer camp for 50 girls in the Bay Area, called “Girl Possible.”

I’m a Stanford grad turned faculty member for design research.

Stanford lets me come back on campus every year to help teach an advanced design research course geared towards seniors in the Product Design Engineering program—the same program I graduated from a few years ago.

I engage in design/business consulting for startups and non-profits.

First, I help early founders think through their mission, brand, product offer, market, target audience, and/or UVP by applying the principles of human-centered design. Then I work across the Adobe Creative Suite to help them bring graphics, marketing collateral, and other materials to life.

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Finally, I speak and facilitate workshops at conferences and events.

For example, I co-keynoted SAP’s most recent Women In Technology Conference and taught a design & leadership workshop at SXSW Edu. This Jan 2019, I’ve been invited to participate in the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) Spark series as a speaker + workshop facilitator. Past topics include:

  • Empowering girls to become the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow

  • Discovering your mission statement for changing the world

  • Kickstarting your business / social enterprise through design

Do you have a workshop, speaking event, or design project in mind? Let’s talk!