Charla Bear is a design lead, senior researcher, and award-winning journalist. She leads project teams at the human-centered innovation firm, IDEO. 

Charla’s superpowers are identifying inspiring people and activities to activate design, synthesizing learnings into enlightening insights, and crafting stories that compel change. She specializes in designing for learners of all ages, with an emphasis on inclusion and equity for underserved communities.


Before setting out to redesign the future, Charla was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford, one of 20 international journalists selected for the prestigious innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship program.

Prior, Charla reported and anchored Bay Area news for KQED, filed statewide features for The California Report, and contributed to national outlets including Marketplace and NPR.

Along the way, she’s shared her love of storytelling by teaching at the University of Washington, San Francisco State, and various mentoring programs.

Charla’s adventure began in Fairbanks, Alaska on a sub-zero day with more than 19 hours of darkness. She is an enrolled member of Tanana Village, an Alaska Native tribe, and a first-generation college graduate. She has a master of journalism from U.C. Berkeley and a bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Washington. She’d love to hear from you!