Ilana Lipsett is a community design strategist and futurist. Her work combines participatory design and community engagement to inform future-focused policy, economic and urban development, and strategy. Ilana has worked to create public engagement opportunities for cities, developers, NGO’s, and creative communities around the globe to help imagine and design what the future of their cities could look like. At Institute for the Future (IFTF) Ilana focuses on creating equitable and resilient futures. She co-teaches a course on Design Futures, and works on projects examining the future of civic life: from public transportation to housing to governance and public service.
She has facilitated civic imagination processes and activated spaces to catalyze community development through art, culture, dialog, public input, and economic opportunity. She was recognized by the Obama White House as a “Champion of Change in Civic Innovation” for her work co-founding freespace, an initiative to temporarily transform vacant spaces into community, cultural and arts hubs. She has a background in community and labor organizing, and has worked around the globe on resident-led placemaking initiatives. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School, and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, where she works with developers and cities to improve their public planning processes and strategic engagement campaigns.