Joe Heritage ’17SIPA
Design Lead
Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design

Joe is an agricultural development specialist and human centered designer with over 10 years of project design, facilitation, and project management experience. Joe has worked on agrarian-based social enterprises, agribusiness value chain development, IDP post-conflict resettlement, entrepreneurship accelerator training, human centered design, sustainable finance, and market access with a regional focus in East Africa and Southeast Asia. Joe lived in Kenya for seven years and co-founded and managed Freedom Global, a social enterprise that employs and educates internally displaced persons working in staple, livestock, and commodity crop value chains. Joe is currently the design lead at the Design Studio at Columbia University in New York where he leads workshops on social enterprise creation, need-finding, prototyping, ideation, and how to develop and deliver a strong pitch. He has led over 130 design workshops, taught over 4,000 students and coached dozens of early-stage startups. Additionally, he has acted as a design consultant for Columbia Genetics, Columbia Herbert Irving Cancer Center, Columbia Office of Alumni and Development, Columbia World Projects, Columbia Law, Columbia Engineering, Columbia Business School, SIPA, Lemann Foundation, The Obama Foundation Scholarship, CoWrks-India, Rainforest Alliance, One Acre Fund and UNDP-Innovation. Joe believes that at the intersection between sustainable development and human centered design, therein lies tremendous opportunity to create lasting solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Joe is leading the “Design for Social Innovation” program at Columbia Entrepreneurship; connecting student teams with international clients to create tangible and sustainable design deliverables to some of the world’s most complicated problems. Joe has worked in Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Thailand, Brazil, Tunisia, India, Indonesia, is proficient in Kiswahili, and completed his MPA in development practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in May 2017.