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John Bielenberg

People, even creative professionals, tend to follow predictable pathways in solving problems, thus leaving many possible solutions unexplored. That is why John Bielenberg created Project M, which inspires young creative professionals to ‘think wrong’. ‘Thinking wrong is really about breaking the biases and known pathways to generate a lot of potential solutions before you select and execute one,’ Bielenberg says.

The much-awarded graphic designer and AGI member John Bielenberg created Project M in 2003 for young creative people who want to contribute to the greater good by collaborating in projects bigger than themselves. Under Project M Bielenberg has worked with young designers, writers, photographers and filmmakers in the United States, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana and Iceland. Topics they attacked included micro-financing in Ghana, New Orleans after Katrina, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Alabama and the economic crisis in Iceland.

Together with former advertising art director Alex Bogusky and others, Bielenberg also launched COMMON in 2011, advertised as the world’s first collaborative brand. COMMON connects entrepreneurs, designers and creatives to accelerate socially beneficial businesses and ideas using the same power of rule-breaking innovation and thinking differently. One of COMMON’s projects consisted of designing a 300-dollar house. In the meantime Bielenberg helps people in companies and nonprofits to think wrong too, through his company Future.