50 for 50: Heather Fleming
Fleming (Diné) is co-founder and Executive Director of Change Labs, an organization supporting entrepreneurship and innovation on the Navajo Nation. She engages partners in and around the Navajo Nation to incubate, finance and train new and prospective entrepreneurs in an effort to diversify local economies and promote innovation. Her work seeding Native American social entrepreneurship is inspired by her upbringing in rural New Mexico and her work as co-founder and now Principal of Catapult Design, a product and service design firm with expertise in human-centered design for marginalized communities.
Fleming was previously an Adjunct Lecturer at Stanford and California Academy of the Arts. She also co-founded and led the Appropriate Technology Design Team, a volunteer group focused on social impact design work through a professional chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in San Francisco.
Fleming was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow for her work with EWB and Catapult Design. She served on the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Engineering for Global Development committee, chairing an initiative to create standardized evaluation metrics and design guidelines for products distributed in impoverished communities.