Sonder Studio

Sonder Studio is a venture studio that designs products and builds businesses that change things. We specialize in crafting human-machine systems that leverage the best of of artificial and human intelligence. We are on a mission to help humans win in the age of AI by making AI design easier, more inclusive, more ethical and more human. We work with companies to co-create innovative, sustainable products that leverage the best of modern AI through a start-up studio, corporate innovation programs and AI design projects. We use design thinking tools and our unique human-centered AI design system to create inspiring, innovative and sustainable products and businesses. 

Sonder

Sonder | son-der | noun: The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one’s own, which they are constantly living despite one’s personal lack of awareness of it.

Sonder inspires our work. We believe that understanding the needs and desires of others is at the heart of designing successful products. We marry this understanding of humanity with a deep understanding of frontier technology to craft products that change things.

What we do

Design Thinking

Human-centered AI

Product Design

Business Design

Marketing

Speaking

We speak and run workshops (in person and virtually) around the world on design thinking, human-centered design, AI education and ethics and the future of technology for organizations like The New York Times, Starbucks, the State of Oregon, R/GA, Galp, Callahan Innovation, the House of Beautiful Business and the National Head Start Association. 

Our most popular topics include:

  • Why and How AI? An introduction to why AI matters.
  • AI & Personalization. Can AI be personal or do we risk losing ourselves?
  • Human-centered Design & AI. How can we design learning machines with humans in mind?
  • Ethical AI. Learn how to create and manage ethical AI.
  • AI and Your Inner Self. AI is fundamentally disrupting our privacy
  • AI and our Biased Society. AI is biased because it learns from data about the world and the world is biased.
  • AI and the Human Frontier. A deep dive into the technical frontiers of AI and human neuroscience, psychology and AI research. 
  • Governing Machines. How can we control machines that can learn on their own?

Contact us at hello@getsonder.com to learn more.

History

Sonder Studio was formed out of a decade-long business and personal partnership. We formed our first company—and our family—in 2009. Since that time, we’ve started multiple ventures and worked with clients across a wide range of industries. We’re driven by finding ways to create products that change people’s lives for the better.

We started working with AI in 2013—working with clients to understand how to apply machine learning to their businesses. We were captured by how AI would change the future. We wondered: how will jobs change, when will AI be a force for good and for bad and what should our children study in college to prepare for the age of AI? We formed Intelligentsia, an AI research company, to try to answer these questions. We sold Intelligentsia to Atlantic Media in 2017.

We formed Sonder Studio to merge our expert understanding of the interaction between humans and learning machines with our love of human-centered product design. We apply complex technologies with the focus required to keep things simple for users. 

Founders

Sonder Studio was created by Helen and Dave Edwards, founders of Intelligentsia.ai — a research company that explored how humans and machines will work together in the age of AI. After the company’s acquisition by Quartz, Dave and Helen led the publication’s AI information platform before returning to the hands-on work of helping people and enterprises craft the future of work through AI.

Helen has spent her career at the edges of chaos; where technological innovation collides head-on with traditional ways of doing things. She’s been described as being able to see new relationships and counter-intuitive outcomes; to “link the un-linkable.” Her past experience includes being CIO of Transpower, New Zealand’s national grid, head of emerging products at Pacific Gas and Electric and head of corporate venturing for Meridian Energy.

Dave is a trend-spotter, analyst and product designer. He has spent his career distilling and advancing big technology trends like the internet, cleantech and AI. His brain is split in two with half dedicated to creatively designing consumer experiences while the other half has an uncanny ability to find the right metric to measure and build upon. His past experience includes being head of software application marketing at Apple, head of consumer strategy at SunPower and a lead technology research analyst at Morgan Stanley. 

Contact us