Dr. Jaspal S. Sandhu
Trust in Design: Why Relationships Matter for Impact
In evangelizing design, the design community usually emphasizes process, methods, tools, and mindsets. While these are important elements of design and innovation, they exclude the important role of who does design — and who gets to do design. My design and innovation journey has always involved traveling with different partners: individuals, communities, and organizations. How we collaborate across boundaries influences how much change we can create in the world. We will discuss co-creation, capacity building, and culture change as models for sharing the power of design in partnerships.
Jaspal teaches courses bridging public health, engineering, and business at UC Berkeley, where he served as the Fung Fellowship’s faculty lead from 2016-2021 and created the first-ever human-centered design course in a school of public health. For 12 years before joining Hopelab, Jaspal was managing partner at Gobee, a global design consultancy that he co-founded to spark social innovation. Gobee’s work in 25 countries included developing next-generation medical devices for newborns and infants in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, launching an incubator for domestic violence prevention, and building human-centered design capacity in 20 health care safety net clinics and hospitals in the U.S. In his early career, he worked in product engineering roles for Nokia and Intel, and conducted research on rural health care technology as a Fulbright scholar to Mongolia. He holds a Ph.D. in design from UC Berkeley and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from M.I.T.
He is currently exploring the role of art in advocacy and community building. Learn more about Jaspal and his work in technology and well-being at Hopelab.