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Announcing our Community Prototypers for the Circular Design Challenge

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Love them or hate them, plastics are everywhere around us, with demand expected to double in the next 20 years. If nothing changes, there will be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050. To free our ocean from plastics while tackling a broken system in which only 14% of plastics are recycled, Open IDEO teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the Circular Design Challenge to ask the question:

How might we get products to people without generating plastic waste?

In preparation for this challenge, we reached out to our OpenIDEO community to volunteer their design expertise, circular economy knowledge, and enthusiasm for creative collaboration as Community Prototypers for the Circular Design Challenge. We’re now excited to introduce you to our global cohort of Community Prototypers who will help teams move Ideas to action by building rapid prototypes, testing out assumptions, and uncovering learnings. Meet Evelyn, Itika, Kayla, Lindey, Ludvik, Naman, Robert, and Simon — our Community Prototypers for the Circular Design Challenge! 

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Evelyn Ritter believes the key to sustainability is to make low-impact living easier. She works at Herman Miller in product chemistry, but misses her past life in the startup world. 

Gujarat, India

A product designer, electrical engineer, liberal arts graduate, mythology buff and an optimist. Itika is basically an avid learning looking all around me to build a systemic level understanding of the world's problems and a truck load of optimism to solve them.

Ontario, Canada 

Kayla is a product designer and prototyping wizard based out of Toronto, Canada. She enjoys dedicating her talent and enthusiasm to projects that reimagine the linear economy to help businesses design for the future.


The Hague Area, Netherlands

Lindey Cafsia is  a product designer and an engineer in building technology living in the Netherlands. Lindey brings experience in biomimicry-inspired product engineering, circular design, and a passion for using bio-based materials in his designs.


Fargo, North Dakota

Ludvik brings more than two decades of experience in interactive design, information architecture, and user-centered design. He combines engineering and marketing expertise, with visual skills to empower teams to create sustainable solutions.

Detroit, Michigan

With a love for people and passion for the forces that drive our world, Naman creates impact by bringing a Mechanical Engineering lens to Human Centered Design. His experience includes designing automotive products, building decision-making tools, and empowering innovators to unleash their potential.


Denver, Colorado

Robert has engaged in the world of product development since he started building his own toys in the 1960s. Author, designer and craftsman, he enjoys creating tangible narratives to convey and clarify ideas.

Bay Area, California

Simon directs his energy to the environmental challenges facing our cities.  His contribution is to develop a deep understanding of people - their motivations, decisions and habits - and design innovative experiences and communications to serve them and our planet.

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Photo of Helen

Amazing article Lauren!