CIEL is a collective of strategists with expertise in strategic planning, design thinking, innovation practice, media strategy, content production, design processes (including service, graphic, and product), communications strategy, and audience and stakeholder engagement. Our subject matter expertise ranges from human rights and international development, to climate change, racial justice, gender issues, and migration/refugee issues. 

Our Founder

Lina Srivastava is a strategist who catalyzes and amplifies social impact by combining activism, technology, culture, art, and storytelling. She is the founder of a CIEL, the Creative Impact and Experience Lab, a cultural innovation strategy group in New York City, the Founder of the Transformational Change Leadership Project, the co-founder of the Regarding Humanity community, and the co-founder of the Humans on the Move social enterprise. 

Lina has provided project design consultation to a group of social impact organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank, AARP, UNICEF, the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. State Department, New York City Department of Health, Shine Global, BYkids, CAMMINA, and FilmAid. An attorney by training, Lina is the co-creator of the My City project and the producer of Priya’s Shakti, and has been involved in campaigns for several documentaries, including Oscar-winning Born into Brothels, Emmy-nominated The Devil Came on Horseback, Oscar-winning Inocente, and Sundance Film Festival award-winning and Social Impact Media Award recipient Who Is Dayani Cristal? She has been an advisor to Global Grassroots, Donor Direct Action, Studio Rev, Tech4Good and Circle of 6 App, Electric South, Memria, and Colibri Center for Human Rights. She a is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Boehm Media Senior Fellow, a Rockwood Institute / JustFilms Fellow, a Fulbright Specialist candidate, and on the expert roster of the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase. She has been invited to the Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice Leaders, Creative Change, Opportunity Collaboration, and SOCAP, and is a frequent speaker, including at Inter-American Development Bank Annual Meeting, Yale Law School, Lincoln Center, MIT Media Lab, TEDx, the Tribeca Film Festival. and the BOND International Development Conference.  She has taught design and social entrepreneurship at Parsons, The New School of Design, and is on faculty in the Masters of Fine Arts Program in Design and Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts. Lina is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and also studied at the Hastings Center for Bioethics, and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University.

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Our Senior Strategists

Linda Raftree supports strategy, program design, research, and technology in international development initiatives. She developed and co-organizes MERL Tech, a series of events and discussions about technology-enabled monitoring, evaluation, research and learning. Linda advises Girl Effect Mobile (GEM) on digital safety, security and privacy and supports the organization with research and strategy. She co-led the development of Catholic Relief Services’ Digital Data Policy and was part of the team that developed USAID’s Responsible Data Policy. Since 2011, Linda has been advising The Rockefeller Foundation’s Evaluation Office on the use of ICTs in monitoring and evaluation. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, she worked for 16 years with Plan International. She has published discussion papers on adolescent girls and ICTs for UNICEF, the role of ICTs in child and youth migration for the Oak Foundation, mobile technologies and youth workforce development for the mEducation Alliance, ICT-enabled monitoring and evaluation for Rockefeller and technology and civic engagement for ONE. Linda is a co-founder of Regarding Humanity, which encourages debate and dialogue around the portrayal of ‘the poor’ in the media, social impact work, and non-profit marketing. She runs Technology Salons in New York City and advocates for ethical approaches for using ICTs and digital data in the humanitarian and development space. Linda writes “Wait, What?” a blog about technology and community development. Follow Linda on Twitter. 

Sahar Ghaheri is a multi-disciplinary designer, who works with socially minded companies and non-profits to develop solutions for the communities they serve. She is co-founder of dh studio, a Brooklyn-based design consultancy that creates products, brands, and experiences that effect positive change internationally.  She has a BFA in Graphic Design and Photography from Washington University in St. Louis and holds a Master's of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. Find Sahar on LinkedIn.

Vanessa Parra is a media professional with over ten years of experience focused on managing complex campaigns requiring deployment to humanitarian emergencies, cultivating relationships with high-profile media outlets, and sensitive, timely responses to acute emergencies. Most recently a Senior Press Officer for Oxfam America, Vanessa has served as the Press and Information Officer for Refugees International, Associate Director of Communications for Humanity United, and Media Relations Officer for International Rescue Committee. Follow Vanessa on Twitter.