I’m an entrepreneur, writer, and human-centered designer based on a little farm in British Columbia. In 2010 I co-founded a social enterprise called Medic, to build open source technology for healthcare in hard to reach communities. Medic serves as technical steward of the Community Health Toolkit open source project, which has supported over 69 million caring activities to date and has over 41,000 end users in Africa and South Asia. Medic’s work has been recognized with a Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship, and I received an Echoing Green fellowship, was inducted into the Better World by Design hall of fame, and twice was named to Forbes’ list of the top 30 social entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

As Chief Research Officer I established a thriving open science network around Medic’s open source projects, and in 2020 I launched Medic Labs to incubate breakthroughs in precision public health. My research on human-centered design and innovation management has won several scholarly awards and been well cited and widely read. My design work emerges from human problems rather than academic discourses, as a result my writing is highly interdisciplinary and has been published in scientific journals across the fields of management and organizational theory, information systems, computer science, human-computer interaction, technology for development, statistics, and global health. I also enjoy discussing technology, design, and humanitarian work for a broad public audience, with outlets such as Commonweal Magazine, National Geographic: News Watch, The Oregonian, and TEDx talks.

Isaac Holeman profile picture

In 2022 I stepped aside from leadership at Medic to refocus on writing and on my role as a faculty member at The University of Washington, where I’m affiliated with the Global Health and the Human Centered Design & Engineering departments. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where I was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. My research is available on Google Scholar, and if you’d like to get in touch you can reach me on LinkedIn.