Mariko is the former founding Director of inCompass Human-Centered Innovation Lab in Cambodia. Over five years, Mariko built and led an innovation lab and non-profit HCD consultancy, with the goal to catalyse a lab approach in the developing world.
Her career has focused on using a human-centered approach to designing solutions for humans that resonate deeply with them. She initially began designing for the world’s wealthiest populations on behalf of multi-nationals such as Unilever, and for companies in a range of industries including beer, chocolate, financial planning, children’s confectionary, and weddings.
Mariko has spent the last five years working and living in the developing world to design equally innovative solutions that delight and improve the lives of the world’s poorest populations. She has provided leadership on projects throughout Asia and Africa, and is a keen advocate for treating the poor as paying customers.
Passionate about sharing her knowledge on human-centered approaches, Mariko has led the design and facilitation of an acclaimed Human-Centered Design workshop for pro-poor innovation. She has taught marketing and innovation strategy to social entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, and developed a course for the Sauder School of Business. If given the chance, Mariko can talk for hours about why a human-centered approach is critical to designing sustainable solutions for the developing world.