Jen van der Meer
Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Management
Parsons Faculty Hotseat
Assistant Professor, Strategic Design & Management
School of Design Strategies
Jen van der Meer is a business model designer. She practices her craft at Reason Street where she helps companies, investors, and economic development organizations navigate transitions to impact-delivering business models. At Parsons Strategic Design and Management Program at The New School, Jen teaches courses in business models, entrepreneurship, and innovation, and leads the inaugural Venture Lab course as part of the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative.
A former Wall Street analyst and economist, Jen has worked with leading organizations to understand what organizational and capital structures are possible with the emergence of new technology. Throughout her career, Jen has practiced an approach that is equal parts data-driven and creative to understand and apply the opportunities for technology to transform the economy, society, and culture.
Jen’s current practice provides business model design services to leading accelerators throughout the world. Her specialty is understanding local business model adaptations particularly for startups and social innovations that optimize for human health, social and environmental impact. Her practice provides advisory, decision governance, and tools for startups, open innovation partnerships, NGOs, and impact investors.
Prior to Reason Street, Jen served as Luminary Lab’s Chief Strategy Officer, and was previously EVP, Services and Managing Director at Dachis Group, a social data strategy consulting and software company. She was previously a partner at Drillteam where she developed participatory design programs to give grants to emerging artists, scientists, and activists. Jen organized the acquisition of Drillteam to Powered, Inc. in 2010, which was then merged into Dachis Group in 2011, and subsequently acquired by Sprinklr in 2014.
Jen has held executive management roles at Organic during the company’s aggressive growth phase, was General Manager at Frog Design where she organized a successful turnaround of the company’s service business on the East Coast and lead the formation of the firm’s Design Thinking practice.
In not-for-profit endeavors, Jen was a co-founding board member of the Designers Accord, an initiative that enrolled over 400,000 designers globally to commit to sustainable design principles. She also organized the NYC chapter of 02, the global eco design network.
Jen has been an Adjunct Professor at NYU ITP, where she ran multiple investor Pitchfests and taught Business 101.1 for early stage founders. She has served as a judge and mentor for numerous startup and innovation competitions, including the Berkeley Big Ideas Open Data Challenge, NYC Big Apps, Innovate NYC Schools, NYC Media Lab, RLab, Urban X, and the NYU Summer LaunchPad. She is part of the Finance Ecosystems working group in Catalyst 2030, the Inclusive Capital Collective, and she provides board advisory for organizations seeking to transition to community-owned structures.
Jen has a BA in comparative religion from Trinity College, and an MBA from HEC in Paris.
Business models, capital ecosystem design.