Hildreth is an artist and researcher from Texas who's spent the last fifteen years embedding inclusive co-design and service design methodologies into complex systems change efforts, and leading human- centered communications, policy and technology projects across sectors.
She's the director of PlusMinus, a design community of practice that's exploring how to re-cast the technology design process at the Lab to more equitably and intentionally distribute positive impact, especially with and for society's most marginalized.
As a senior strategist with the Communications and Special Projects team at the Lab, she focuses on the design and implementation of community co-design and engagement to ideate on, clarify and evaluate the Lab's culture. She's currently facilitating Lab-wide discussions around belonging and values, and evaluating and reporting on the organizational change process with the goal of making the Media Lab a more transparent, just, and equitable research organization.
Before joining the Lab, Hildreth worked in acute and community healthcare, predominantly with underserved maternal and child populations. She led digital transformation efforts for Texas WIC, one of the largest nutrition assistance programs in the country. There, she infused co-design methods into the development and deployment of WIC's first suite of mobile apps and web technologies to shift nutrition and health behaviors in new moms, and then directed the research to evaluate their impact on health outcomes. With the City of Austin, she led a joint municipal-county board that addressed health disparities through community engagement in and co-design of sustainable, equitable food and agriculture policies.
Prior to leading PlusMinus, Hildreth was the Assistant Director of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg), where she headed up operations and led the group's human-centered design research in education, exploring co-design as a lever for children's health behavior change.
She's a co-chair in MIT's Food & Sustainability Working Group, has a small studio for playful experimentation (HESTIA design lab), and her design work has been included in the Triennale di Milano, the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, the Barbican Centre, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She's an award-winning performer and director in dance, theater and film, has degrees in foreign service and nutrition from Georgetown University and Texas State University (respectively), and was a 2015 Food Innovation Fellow at the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.