ABOUT BIF

At the Business Innovation Factory, we help business and social-systems leaders design and test transformational business models. In complex social systems like healthcare, education, and government, where the potential and impact for making people's lives better is the highest. For businesses, R&D for new business models is the new strategic imperative now that business models are so short-lived.  Our approach in all cases is human-centered, seeking to understand the job customers need done, and using this insight to design new experiences to better serve them. We experiment in the real world, and rely on storytelling to engage others in the process. 

Team

Mickey Ackerman

Chief Design Strategist

An internationally recognized design leader, Mickey Ackerman has spent decades teaching designers how to define problems clearly, then solve those problems through multidisciplinary teamwork. For 15 years as the head of the Industrial Design department at the Rhode Island School of Design,...Continued

Jacob Brancasi

Experience Designer

Jacob comes to BIF from his own consulting practice, through which he helped clients better understand, engage and empower individual and community aspirations, values, and talents. He is particularly adept at translating contextual insights into actionable experience, service, and product...Continued

Jessica Brown

Student Lab Associate

Jessica works as the Student Experience Lab Associate at BIF. She is excited to combine her passion for education and transformative systems’ change in this role. Originally from Canton, OH, she concentrated in...Continued

Tori Drew

Director of Operations

As BIF's director of operations, Tori Drew plays a key role in several BIF activities, including the coordination of our annual Collaborative Innovation Summits.

A logistics wiz kid with more than 15 years experience managing big budget, high visibility projects, Drew returned to...Continued

Kirtley Fisher

Experience Designer

Kirtley is from Newport, RI, and received a B.A. in International Studies from Emory University. After college, she moved to Washington, DC, and worked as a legislative aide for Congressman Jim Langevin (RI). Most recently, she served as Senior Legislative Assistant and advised the Congressman...Continued

Victoria Guck

Finance & Operations Associate

Victoria has the heart of a teacher and the enthusiasm and optimism of a student. She loves to be involved and is excited to help out wherever she can. She is primarily focused on bookkeeping and administrative assistant duties at Business Innovative Factory.

Victoria earned her B. A....Continued

Renee Hopkins

Director of Engagement

As Director of Engagement, Renee Hopkins connects people with BIF's ideas, experiences, and points of view. A former print journalist turned qualitative researcher, she has been writing about innovation and creativity since 2003 in blogs, books, magazines, and newspapers, online and in...Continued

Saul Kaplan

Founder and Chief Catalyst, Business Innovation Factory

Saul Kaplan is the founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory and author of The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay...Continued

Samantha Kowalczyk

Senior Digital Designer

Sam is BIF's print-making, video-shooting, photo-taking digital sorcerer. She is also our resident bleepy-bloopy music enthusiast and full-time dog petter....Continued

Stephanie Lanoue

Talent Associate

As Talent Associate, Stephanie is responsible for connecting people to projects.  In this capacity she improves processes, manages assignments and priorities, and develops growth plans for her colleagues. A former educator, she uses her insight into an individual’s strengths to provide...Continued
Louie Montoya

Experience Designer

Louie's post-colonial studies opened his world to the power of stories to change systems. Because of his interest in the effects of...Continued
Kirsten Perry

Social Media Associate

While she may be quiet in person, she brings a big personality as the voice of...Continued

Crystal Rome

Experience Designer

Crystal Rome is fascinated by how human behavior, the economy we are creating, and the decisions we make interact to shape our future.
 
She received her MFA in Collaborative Design from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Collaborative Design...Continued
Sam Seidel

Student Experience Lab Director

Sam Seidel is the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Sam speaks internationally about innovative solutions to challenges facing schools, community...Continued

Eli Stefanski

Chief Market Maker

Eli is Chief Market Maker leading BIF’s development efforts. With over a decade of experience in building and leading social ventures Eli is an accomplished social innovator with a deep knowledge of the new platforms affecting social change and has an established track record in non-profit...Continued

Isabelle Yisak

Experience Designer

As an Experience Designer, Isabelle brings her experience in participatory design, facilitation, and social research methods to translate data into meaningful knowledge that can serve people and spark transformative change. Ever curious about how our physical and social environments can...Continued

Kay Zagrodny

Experience Designer

Originally from Rhode Island, Kay Zagrodny is excited to apply her anthropology background as an Experience Designer at BIF. She is interested in coming to deeper understandings about human motivations and behaviors, and has performed research on populations living with HIV/AIDs, food systems,...Continued