Mona Patel is a dynamic entrepreneur with 17-years experience convincing leaders at some of the world’s biggest brands, including NASA, BMW, and Microsoft, to understand, value and optimize their customers’ experiences. As the CEO and Founder of Motivate Design, a user-centered design agency based in New York City, Mona developed the Reframework, an eight-step process that any company can use to innovate and design simple, beautiful experiences.
As an author, Mona has written the bestselling design thinking manual Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate and Think and the children’s book The Thing About Swings, inspired by her first book and geared towards the next generation of design thinkers. In addition to Mona’s personal drive and memorable charisma, the “momtrepreneur” gives back by running YOUTHx, a design camp for kids, and donating 100% of the profits from the sale of The Thing About Swings to the non-profit organization E-School for Girls. Mona has taught at Parsons The New School and lectured at Columbia University and General Assembly, in addition to a myriad other speaking engagements, and is a contributor to Forbes, HBR, Entrepreneur and other online publications.
Biggest literary influencers:
Oprah, Rupi Kapur, Charlotte Bronte
Last book read:
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
The book that changed your life:
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I’ve always been fascinated by guilt and how identity is heavily defined by what a community around you perceives and the way that intersects with a person’s view of themselves and their actions. This story encapsulates that idea so perfectly, that their can be this great conflict between a person’s internal life and the external experience they have.
Your favorite literary character:
Hester Prynne, for so many of thesame reasons described above. The journey she takes through the course of the novel is one that has led to the heart of so much of my work – how do we get people to really express themselves and live a full life, even with the judging eyes of society.
Currently working on:
Mona is currently working on a podcast dedicated to exploring tough questions by using the Insider Insight™ method, a proprietary research sprint methodology that uses the power of connection and intimate one-on-one, personal conversations. Initial episodes
will include an exploration of racism in dating apps and workplace harassment. Mona has also recently released an online Masterclass dedicated to teaching others her unique research method and the power of 2-Week Research Sprints.
Words to live by:
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Be yourself, write as yourself, and look for opportunities in the problems.
The Thing About Swings:
“The Thing About Swings is a charming tale about a girl elephant who just won’t take “no” for an answer. Her persistence and creativity remind all of us to persevere, no matter the challenge, no matter our age and regardless of the discouragement we may face from others. Girls and women of all ages need to internalize this message and approach life with a similar spirit. That’s something I can get behind.”
– Adriana Gascoigne, Found & CEO, Girls in Tech
“Leave it to Mona to so brilliantly inspire the child in ALL of us. In this delightfully lyrical told tale, she opens our minds and our hearts to new ways of embracing fresh perspectives, actively creating fresh playgrounds, and building a future that is designed for all of us. No better time for this book!”
– Andrea Sullivan, Chief Client Officer and brand junkie, VaynerMedia
“This is an incredibly book to teach children that the sky is the limit! Anything is possible and we should always stop and question why things are done a certain way and challenge the status quo.”
– Carrie Hammer, CEO, RoleModelsNotRunwayModels.com
Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate and Think:
“Mona Patel’s Reframework method encourages an innovative mindset to rethink your challenges and how you confront them (or don’t). She spells it out in a way that opens you up to the possibility of ‘what if,’ eliminates BS excuses, and drives the creative process to meaningful results. While she’s a UX expert in high demand at her very own startup, Mona also teaches, and
the book is full of gems for exploration to unpack challenges and discover fresh approaches to putting things together.”
—MaShari Walker, Customer Success Manager