Isabel Sandoval

Studio Lead - Thinkplace US
United States

Isabel is a dynamic leader renowned for her strategic thinking, proactive execution, and deep understanding of human behavior, which she harnesses through immersive research in international development. Her career is marked by a fervent passion for crafting equitable designs and fostering social innovation, with a significant footprint across East and West Africa, the Horn and Southern Africa, and Latin America. Isabel’s work spans various sectors, including agriculture and global health, where her contributions to social behavior change have secured her a position in UNICEF’s External Technical Advisory Group. Here, she provides pivotal guidance and leadership in human-centered design (HCD), influencing global strategies and innovations.

Born in Ecuador, Isabel has a rich background in designing transformative solutions for low-income communities and conducting research in environments faced with large-scale public health challenges. Her dedication to creating innovative, sustainable, and effective solutions is driven by a commitment to use disruptive strategies as a tool for empowerment. Isabel works across all levels of a system—from organizational leaders and teams to frontline workers, citizens, and industry organizations—to foster a more equitable environment for all through HCD, acting as a catalyst for innovative change.

Her tenure in the field of Social Behavioral Change (SBC) has made her an integral part of UNICEF’s brain trust, where she continues to offer guidance, ideas, innovation, and leadership. Isabel leverages her advocacy background in her design work, aiming to build not just individual behavior change but also community and institutional norm change. At ThinkPlace, she has led multiple innovation processes using immersive research tools, rapid prototyping, and behavior change strategies, informing major public health projects. Isabel’s extensive experience in the African context includes work in public health, nutrition, and environmental sustainability, having worked in over 10 countries across East and West Africa.

Isabel’s professional journey is a testament to her personal dedication to co-creating a better world, utilizing disruptive strategies to generate a more equitable playing field for all individuals. Through her work, Isabel acts as a catalyst for action, constantly seeking innovative opportunities to drive meaningful change.