Ash Seth, IDSA
Social Innovation Strategist | Newlab
Vice Chair, IDSA New York City Chapter | 2022-2023
Ash Seth is a stubborn optimist, adrenaline junkie, perpetual doodler, and serial tinkerer, with a deep curiosity towards the world of fungi and a love for climbing trees.
In the human world, she is a social innovation strategist, designer, engineer and educator, working at the intersection of technology, and sustainable global development. She is passionate about harnessing design and education to empower marginalized individuals to maximize their economic and entrepreneurial potential. She works out of the tech incubator, Newlab, in Brooklyn, NY.
Over the past few years, she has driven growth on several international development and social change projects in multiple industries, from agriculture to renewable energy to medical devices, in various countries—including India, Nepal, Mexico, Ghana and the Philippines. Her career is focused on design consulting and strategic planning for development, iteration, implementation, and scaling of hardware and software products and services addressing wicked problems in global, resource-constrained areas. Aside from her mechanical engineering & industrial design know-how and her technical chops, her experience includes leading multidisciplinary, global teams and organizations through the product development process, architecting environments for innovative collaboration between diverse stakeholders, and workshop design & facilitation on topics such as critical design thinking, human-centered design, social business modeling, impact measurement & evaluation, and user research & synthesis. In addition, she develops and delivers pedagogies for sustainability education from secondary education to higher education levels, empowering learners by transmitting an understanding of sustainable development and the UN’s SDGs, and providing skills for transformative action.
Currently, she consults for Indian nonprofit, Kheyti, designing affordable, DIY greenhouses for smallholder farmers. She facilitates Newlab’s HE3AT Program, a project-based STEAM and entrepreneurship program for Brooklyn highschoolers focused on climate change. She is also a social innovation strategist for biotechnology and urban design nonprofit, Terreform ONE, developing strategy for implementing social innovation hubs and ecosystems within higher education academic institutions.
As a Punjabi born and raised in Dubai, Ash is an advocate for gender and racial diversity in engineering and design. She holds a degree in Engineering: Product Design from Stanford University. She is a MovingWorlds Global Social Impact Fellow, developing global leadership, shared-value, and social enterprise know-how with industry experts from a variety of fields, and is an avid artist and sketcher (www.ashseth.com).