Ashley LukasikAshley Lukasik

Ashley Lukasik

Head of Partnerships and New Business

What did you do before Openbox?

After running a startup company that licensed University of Chicago medical technology, I spent eight years at one of the most visionary design schools in the world, IIT Institute of Design. There, I built relationships, oversaw communications, and created cross-disciplinary partnerships to test new service and business models.

What do you like about the work you do?

Human-centered design is critical to helping us respond to complex challenges for which we do not have a preexisting roadmap. At Openbox, we practice a holistic model for engaging with clients and collaborators. We are centrally concerned with the impact of our projects. We use the team’s resources to invest wholly in the goals of our clients. From pre-engagement to full implementation and storytelling, we integrate good design, business imperatives and social and cultural impact.

I have had the privilege of working on a wide variety of design projects during a time when design was catching up with business. It is now clear that design has an essential role to play in civic engagement and government policy as well as commerce.

What does inclusivity mean to you?

Empowerment over empathy. Getting past checking boxes and filling quotas to create the right conditions for everyone to be successful.

When do you feel most like yourself?

I feel like myself all the time—taking care of my three year old, going for a run, or boarding an airplane for the fourth time in a month on business. It's comforting to stay connected to one's core, despite change of context.

I spend a lot of time thinking about...

The information age and its impact on humanity.