Meet the Christines

Transforming how institutions address the diverse needs of today’s students throughout life.

President + Benevolent Troublemaker
Christine Flanagan or @chrisflanagan

Inquisitive and an “intersectionalist” at heart, Chris guides our client development of new learning and engagement models that transcend the limits of our current system. A consummate creative executive with a keen voice for communications, Chris leads our teams in establishing vision and roadmaps that drive success for both organizations and the students they serve.

Drawing on some crazy cool multi-disciplinary skills and competencies she’s earned over the years in human-centered research and iterative business design, Chris is adept at guiding management teams to be capable and inspired to both pursue innovations generated and tackle new challenges on their own going forward.

Prior roles include serving as Strategic Innovation Executive at supporting the creation of multi-channel innovation programs on behalf of the company’s customers. Previous, she served as Student Experience Lab Director for the Business Innovation Factory designing, prototyping and testing new models for delivering value in education. Her approach to innovation and design and has been instrumental in guiding diverse organizations such as Lumina Foundation, Berklee, College Board, ACT, Northeastern University, General Electric Oil & Gas, Coca-Cola, Southern New Hampshire University, Utah State University, FedEx, Monster and many others.

Her benevolent troublemaking skills allow her to regularly write, speak and teach on the topics of education innovation. Her articles have appeared in major education journals and publications such as Educause and New England Journal of Higher Education. And her work was most recently profiled in Wired for Success: Real-World Solutions for Transforming Higher Education.

Many moons ago, Christine received a BA in English (go Humanities!) from the State University of New York, Albany and an (almost) culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University. She still loves to cook and will one day finish what she started.

Head of Research and Design + Co-Troublemaker
Christine Costello or @xstine

Part sociologist, part designer, and part futurist, Christine is at her best when she can combine her obsession for understanding the human experience with opportunities to apply her innate skill of making connections—connections that inform new thinking and inspire change. In her 18 years as an experience designer, researcher and facilitator,  Christine has helped organizations from a range of industry and social sectors to practice human-centered innovation and to put people and their unmet needs at the center of any challenge.

Most recently, Christine served as Design Director for the Business Innovation Factory where she built the capacity for human-centered design (HCD) in BIF’s Experience Labs—the non-profit’s practice for accelerating systems level experimentation in areas of high social impact such as education, healthcare and entrepreneurship.

With Chris Flanagan, she co-pioneered participatory design methods that invited people into the experience design process as collaborators. Previous, she served as an Associate Research Director in Razorfish’s strategy group where in addition to helping design teams  discover and translate insights into new experiences, she contributed to thought leadership that explored the changing nature of digital media. Early educational and career experiences at the Institute of Design, IIT, Art Technology Group (ATG), Doblin Group and eLab (now part of Sapient), shaped Christine’s “make things to learn” approach which remains an integral component her research and iterative design capabilities. This approach has been instrumental in her work for the American Red Cross, Babson College, College Board, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Intel, Lumina Foundation, The National Park Service, Novartis, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, T. Rowe Price, Utah State University, Walt Disney Imagineering and many others.

Christine was a recipient of the Joyce Foundation Fellowship for Interactive Learning while part of the Masters program at the Institute of Design, IIT and holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When she’s not creating new experiences or exploring her interest in citizen science, Christine and her husband hit the road via plane, train or their 1984 VW Westfalia Van “Sasquatch.”