Our Founder


Michael Radke

Michael Radke has been many things in his life: student, seeker, photographer, researcher, activist, musician, husband, mentor, father, traveller, mentee, speaker, author, and human. Over the last 15 years he has held staff, leadership and board roles at non-profits with missions ranging from political freedom to the science education. His driving force comes from what he's witnessed around he world, no matter how big the challenge, nor how awful the circumstance, nor how impossible the odds might seem, there are incredibly talented and committed people working to make the world a better place for us all, and their work should be a little bit easier.

During Michael's graduate work in Cross-Cultural Psychology he focussed on understanding how social movements work around the world, during which he did deep investigations on both the construct of "empathy" and on applying systems theory to social change.In 2012 he and his wife founded the Ubuntu Lab to explore new ways to help people develop the skills and knowledge to understand people. In 2015 he launched ION studios to help social sector businesses achieve large scale social impact through experience design and systems theory.

On any given day you may find him in ION studios’ design lab in the Oakland hills working on a strategic plan for an emerging nonprofit, in a Panamanian jungle facilitating a design thinking session, in Amsterdam speaking on systemic social change, in the South African veld leading a design retreat, or exploring the world with his family.