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Stephanie Wade is the Founder and CEO of Ascendant, a global innovation consulting firm helping organizations use innovation best practices to tackle their toughest challenges, training staff to apply innovation to generate better results, and creating strategies to build a culture of innovation. 

Prior to that, Stephanie worked at Bloomberg Philanthropies where she developed and implemented a $65M portfolio of innovation programs that helped over 400 cities around the world tackle complex social and public challenges for their residents. She also served as the Director of the U.S. Federal Government’s first design-based innovation Lab (Lab@OPM), and helped build Booz Allen Hamilton‘s human-centered design innovation practice. 

Stephanie is an adjunct faculty member at IIT’s Institute of Design. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a Practitioner’s Certificate in Design Thinking from the Austin Center for Design, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College in Sociology and Studio Arts.