David T. Foster
Project Designer / Manager / Consultant

I help clients develop insightful solutions to social & environmental challenges.

I am a project designer, manager and consultant for social and environmental challenges. I focus on communications and human-centered design to help create insightful, innovative solutions, whether they are products, services, systems, or initiatives.

I lead and support projects to gain deep understanding of the challenge, its stakeholders, users and beneficiaries, and then to ideate, prototype, test, iterate and implement ideal, user-validated solutions. This approach, called “human-centered design,” “user-centered design” or “design thinking,” greatly improves chances of success while reducing risk of time and resources spent chasing false assumptions. It can be used to identify and build new innovations, or to assess and improve existing items. More about human-centered design >>

I work with social enterprises, for-profit companies, non-profit organizations and government, large or small, established or start-ups. The common threads among my past and future clients are:

a) deep dedication to social or environmental missions, and
b) strong commitment to creativity, innovation, discovering key human insights and pushing boundaries to solve pressing issues at their roots, not just to calm their symptoms

Throughout my career, I have gained a wide variety of knowledge and skills. I am versatile in my abilities, curious, empathetic, quick to learn, understand and do what is needed. In that sense, I am a very capable generalist and team facilitator. My deepest skills and expertise are in communications (strategy, practice and direction), understanding the human needs and factors in any given challenge and figuring out how best to meet them. I am also inescapably dedicated to providing excellent user experience design—learning and anticipating users’ needs and crafting all products, services and interactions to meet them smoothly and effectively, leaving users satisfied and with a positive brand impression.

I am dedicated to social and environmental issues professionally and personally. My environmental expertise includes energy and water efficiency, green building, waste reduction, renewable energy, technologies and behaviors, with further interest in ecosystem and marine conservation. I seek ways to help humanity ultimately live in perfect harmony with the natural world around us. My expertise in social innovation includes social enterprise, non-profits, and CSR, with special interest in design and innovation in the developing world.

I am an independent consultant, available to be contracted or employed.

Personally speaking

I’m an American living in the United Arab Emirates since 2011. I’ve traveled through six of seven continents so far, and the seventh is probably not the one you’re thinking. I am a happy global citizen who loves travel, new experiences and the differences and similarities between cultures. I speak English and Spanish.

I’m a designer by nature, not just by profession. I believe that “design” is creative problem-solving and a powerful mindset combining creativity and analysis to create solutions to any challenge. Deep understanding illuminates what shape an ideal solution should take and then it’s just a matter of bringing together the right team of experts to make it happen, not afraid to learn and adapt as they go.

I love to think about how things work and how they could be better. More interestingly, I love to figure out how people work, what are their motivations, their barriers, what they need and what could be done to help them get it. I love psychology, sociology, and understanding (whenever possible) the good, the bad and the ugly of human nature.

I’m quite happy to talk about any of the above. Please feel free to contact me and strike up a conversation. You never know where it may lead.

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