John Bielenberg

John Bielenberg

John Bielenberg is an entrepreneur, designer and visionary for a better world. He founded Project M, Thinknado and co-founded Future Partners, Pando Populus and Common.

Design can be an effective force for social change and Bielenberg believes it can be harnessed more effectively than ever before. He developed the “Think Wrong” process, which challenges our brain’s synaptic connections and urges us to question ingrained assumptions.

Early Life and Education

John Bielenberg was born in Holstein, Germany and immigrated to the United States during the l840s. While working for Conrad Kohrs in California, he gained notoriety for his involvement with environmental causes.

He assisted Kohrs with his gold camp butcher shops and cattle operation. Additionally, he created the Big Circle horses: cow ponies capable of covering twenty miles within half a day during rounds.

John is an award-winning designer and the co-founder of Future Partners and Project M. He is also an inspiring advocate for a better world, known for his pioneering research into design practice and understanding as well as leadership within the “design for good” movement.

Professional Career

John Bielenberg is a designer and entrepreneur who believes design can make the world better. As founder of Project M, an immersive program which encourages designers, writers, filmmakers and photographers to use their work for positive social change, John hopes to inspire other creators with similar beliefs.

He is the founder of COMMON, a community that encourages, supports and honors those using creativity to quickly prototype social change. In recognition of his accomplishments he was awarded both the Washington University Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship as well as an honorary doctorate from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Bielenberg is a creative director and co-founder of Silicon Valley innovation firm Future Partners, where he uses his Rapid Ingenuity process to teach groups around the world how to Think Wrong, Get Out, Bet Small, Make Stuff and Move Fast.

Achievements and Honors

John Bielenberg is an entrepreneur, designer and passionate believer in creating a better world. He founded Project M and co-founded Future, an organization that works with organizations, institutions and companies to unleash human creativity.

In 2013, he was honored with the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Gold Medal for lifetime achievement. Additionally, he serves on the AIGA National Board of Directors.

Bielenberg is an expert on creative problem solving and will be visiting SUNY Fredonia this spring through the Visiting Artist Program to share his knowledge with students and the community. During his three-day stay, he will lead an engaging workshop on how to “think wrong”.

Personal Life

John Bielenberg is an inspiring designer, entrepreneur and passionate ally for a better world. He co-founded Thinknado, Future Partners and Pando Populus organizations with his partner Nick Dube.

He founded Project M, a program that connects young designers to larger social missions. Through Project M, these talented individuals are placed in real situations with people facing real issues and challenged to use their creative instincts in solving them.

Kohrs & Bielenberg experienced tremendous growth over the course of 20 years, from small herds for local butcher shops to thousands of cattle destined for markets both nearby and across America. It was an incredibly exciting and successful period in their history.

Net Worth

John Bielenberg is a successful businessman with an estimated net worth of $8 million. As co-founder of C2, an international design and communications firm, he has an interest in environmental protection and health issues. To this end, he founded Project M – an initiative that instructs designers, writers, filmmakers how to use their work for positive social impact; Mav Lab -a studio which brings together interdisciplinary teams to solve complex design problems; John holds both bachelor’s degrees from St Columba’s College (Carlow Ireland), MBA from Trinity College Dublin; plus architecture studies at INSEAD Paris. At present John serves as director for New Food Entrepreneurs; helping people start businesses that focus on social impact.

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