Grace Rodriguez lives by design. An inveterate polymath, Grace has cultivated over two decades of experience working with brands, government, technology startups, nonprofit organizations, design firms, creative entrepreneurs and a venture capital fund into a curious career of brand/business strategy + innovation consulting. On the side, she loves crafting playlabs that transform technology, social media, data and design into meaningful interactive experiences that connect with, delight, and inspire audiences.
Grace is passionate about community and innovation, and aims to nurture both as TED's Creative Director for TEDActive. She serves the City of Houston as a founding member of the Mayor's Innovation and Technology Advisory Board; as Co-Founder and President of C2 Create, Houston's first non-profit creative accelerator; as a Curator for TEDxHouston and TEDxYouth@Houston, and as a serial board member, volunteer, speaker and educator for local nonprofits. A sought-after speaker at SXSW, TEDx@TEDActive, TEDxSugarLand, HiMA IS Conference and the Texas Women Conference, her work has been recognized with the Texas Statesman Social Media Award, the Pegasus Award of Distinction for "Destination Houston" (Producer), and Houston Press "Best New Magazine" for Rice Addict (Editor). She is proudest, however, of her work behind the scenes to help innovative people and organizations refine and realize their Big Ideas, then transform their potential energy into sustainable kinetic ventures.
TEDActive 2014, TEDActive 2013, TEDActive 2012
Areas of Expertise
Brand Strategy, Brand Innovation, Brand Design, Community Development and Engagement, Design - Direction, Branding, Communication. Identity, Advocacy, Activism, Organizing, Multidisciplinary Synthesis & Problem Solving
An idea worth spreading
We can change the world through two simple steps: 1) Change our attitudes. 2) Change our environments.
I'm passionate about
Learning by doing. Driving innovation. Leveling playing fields. Attacking problems at their roots. Empowering people and communities to make change. Helping do-gooders achieve greatness.
Talk to me about
The Digital Divide. Social pointillism. Breeding edges. Creating a global army of problem-solvers.
People don't know I'm good at
Cards Against Humanity. Charades. Dance. Humiliating myself.
My TED story
...is in perpetual beta. It just keeps getting better. :-)