Jeff Leitner is a social theorist and social innovator, recognized for original contributions to philanthropy, government, academia, and social impact. He is currently founder and lead researcher at Unwritten Labs and fellow at New America, a think tank in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as the inaugural innovator-in-residence at The University of Southern California, founder and director of UX for Good, and founder and dean of Insight Labs. Before that, Jeff was a newspaper reporter, public affairs consultant, and political operative. He is a frequent speaker on social norms and unwritten rules, and co-author of a book on his original methodology for solving social problems, See Think Solve: A Simple Approach to Tackling Tough Problems. Jeff holds degrees from The Ohio State University and The University of Texas. He lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and daughter. His interests outside work mirror his interests inside work: collecting and supporting imaginative, incisive people committed to making significant, positive impact.
How would you define HX and why it is important to your life’s work?
HX is a radical new perspective on design that shifts the primary focus from individual users or individual organizations to a greater collective interest. This dovetails with my work on understanding the larger social forces, like norms and unwritten rules, at work in companies, institutions, governments, and society.