About

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Hey there, I'm Kaori! Born in Chicago and raised by Japanese immigrants, I'm fascinated by the intersections of cultures, creativity, and innovation. Most people call me a researcher, strategist, or designer (what is "design" anyways?). I'd say I'm a systems thinker who thrives in the details, an empathetic problem solver, and an organizer and connector of data, ideas, and people. Iā€™m motivated by deconstructing complex problems into story-driven and human-centered solutions. Along with my experiences and education, my Buddhist practice continues to exercise my compassion and rigorous introspection. 

This past year, I did things differently. I teamed up with Experience Institute to craft a year of self-directed learning focused on human-centered design, design research & strategy, and social innovation. I came out in the end with a clearer vision of how creative problem solving and deep empathy can make an iterative and meaningful impact on branding, healthcare, and education. Finding critical insights through inquiry has allowed me to work on projects across varying topics, from delivering equitable tuberculosis care to patients in China to facilitating and crafting design thinking workshops for educators and school leaders.