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Rich Nadworny
Rich Nadworny is principal of Empatico, a design studio in Burlington, Vermont. Empatico helps organizations innovate and get un-stuck through a human-centric design process. The process is people centric, collaborative and highly creative. Empatico provides both design services and training to organizations.

Rich leads projects for service design, customer experience design and workshop training. He has built innovative digital marketing solutions for clients for almost 20 years. Rich has led initiatives to introduce design thinking into the local school systems and launched Vermont’s first social hack using human-centered design to tackle the Localvore issue.

He has worked with Fortune 500 companies and small local non-profits. Previously he was a partner at one of northern New England’s largest ad agencies and ran his own virtual strategy and marketing agency, Digalicious.

Rich works as an course lead for Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding where he teaches a program on Design Driven Entrepreneurship for young African entrepreneurs through the U.S. State Department’s Mandela Fellowship and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

He is a frequent commentator on VPR an innovation columnist at the Burlington Free Press and a contributor at HuffPo.

He has a B.A. from Dartmouth, an M.S. in New Media from Boston University. He earned his Leading by Design certificate from the California College of Arts.

Entries by Rich Nadworny

Customer Obsession is the New Design

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 12:20 PM


The headline in Wired couldn't have been more provocative: "Why Airbnb's New Head of Design Believes 'Design-Led' Companies Don't Work." Say what? Haven't people like Kleiner Perkins' John Maeda spent time convincing us that a design-led company is the template...

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Young Entrepreneurs Ready to Lead African Innovation Through Design

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 2:28 PM

In July, President Obama visited Nairobi, Kenya. At the Global Entrepreneurship summit, the President declared that "Africa is on the move" and urged African entrepreneurs to pursue innovative projects to stimulate economic development on the continent. Obama also noted that...
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Vermont Encourages Citizens to Invest Locally

(1) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 8:50 AM


Startup companies, at one point or another, need money to grow. That's always been a challenge and will continue to be one. In a small, rural state like Vermont, a state with few venture capital companies and angel investors, entrepreneurs face serious challenges...

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Notabli: An Example of Successful Design Driven Entrepreneurship

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 12:44 PM


One of the more fascinating pieces of data I've seen in a while showed that design-driven companies outperform the S&P by 228% over 10 years. We see evidence of this shift toward design in places like the venture capital firm Kleiner...

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With Friends Like Amazon, Who Needs Enemies?

(2) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 2:43 PM

Amazon reacts to the future possibility of paying state sales tax in Vermont.

Last week, Amazon shut down its Amazon Associates program in Vermont. Through an impersonal mass email, Amazon told its most loyal and supportive partners that the threat...

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How One Man Turned a Municipal Police Department Into an Agile Software Company

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 1:05 PM

The Burlington Vermont Police Department was stuck using an information system that was expensive and time consuming to use. The department needed a change but finding a new solution that fit their needs seemed almost impossible. In the middle of this, Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling asked a...

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A View From the Tweet Seats

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 12:02 PM

This weekend I was part of an experiment conducted at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Marketing Director Leigh Chandler invited a group of local "Tweeters" to attend a concert in order to share live reactions through social media. Using the hashtag #FlynnTweets, we sat in the...

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9/11 vs. Newtown

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 2:17 PM

I recently read a New York Times op ed by Professor Adam Lankford about his upcoming book The Myth of Martyrdom. In it, he compares terrorist suicide bombers with U.S. mass murderers who commit suicide -- and found that their psychological profiles were a match. In other words,...

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Surf Free or Die? It's Time to Pay for What We Consume

(5) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 11:30 AM

Today, we have a wealth of opportunities to do things digitally, through our mobile devices or on our computers. We have content to read or watch, friends to chat or message with, pictures to posts, and snark to tweet. For most of those, we're able to do so by purchasing...

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Why You Need a Social Media Policy, Even If You're @HubSpot (or @WGAins)

(2) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 6:24 PM

The discussions about social media policies moved from the "nice-to-have" guidelines to the necessary legalistic, corporate documents a few years ago. Most companies who engage in social media now have some type of policy outlining guidelines and expected behavior from their employees. Some brands have a link to their policies...

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Vermont's First Social Media Election

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2012 | 6:33 PM

Earlier this month, Vermont's largest city, Burlington, held a mayoral election that featured two non-incumbents vying for the top municipal job in the state. Voters went to the polls on March 6 to choose between Democrat Miro Weinberger and Republican Kurt Wright. When Weinberger won a decisive 57 percent to...

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Has Ben & Jerry's Lost Its Way?

(24) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 3:51 PM

Ben & Jerry's launched a new ice cream this week, "Schweddy Balls," in honor of Alec Baldwin's old Saturday Night Live skit. In an instant, Twitter was abuzz. Schweddy Balls and Ben & Jerry's both zoomed to the top of the trending list. Mashable wrote about...

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Corporate People

(13) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 5:00 PM

A lot of people got very worked up last year over the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. In it, the Court decided that corporations were just like regular people and thus deserved the right of free speech. The more I read the news these days, the more I think those...

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The Creativity Conundrum

(10) Comments | Posted September 16, 2010 | 12:39 PM

For most of us who work in marketing, we consider ourselves to work in a "creative" industry. That is: we're charged with coming up with creative solutions to marketing problems and, usually, the ones with the best creative ideas win. If you work in an agency, you've probably heard, ad...

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Can We Stop Growing?

(2) Comments | Posted August 19, 2010 | 4:00 PM

This month's news about Magic Hat Brewery's sale to North American Breweries was a shock to us Vermonters. Magic Hat is one of my favorite brands, favorite beers and employs some of my favorite people. Now this original and quirky company risks losing its local control and connection,...

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National Broadband Policy: Time to Pay Attention

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2010 | 10:51 AM

Several months ago, the FCC announced that it was formulating a national broadband policy. The U.S. was the last industrialized nation to do so, showing itself as a surprising laggard for our technically innovative country. Personally, I was encouraged that we had finally taken this step.

This week...

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Poetry Goes Digital

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 1:30 PM

I spoke with an old friend recently who's working on an interesting new project. Dennis Downey released a new iPhone app named Poem Flow where people can read or experience a poem per day. With our increasingly short attention spans and our desire to click on links, it...

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It's Time for Online Retailers to Support Local Communities

(7) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 2:00 PM

Online retail continues to grow while local communities struggle with deep economic problems. Do these two economic trajectories have anything to do with one other? While there may not be a causal link between the two trends, it's time for online-only retailers to do the right thing: Charge and pay...

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Go Ogle Has Droid Rage

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2009 | 5:20 PM

Google launched Droid more than a month ago with a solid male-focused campaign which included rockets blasting the earth. Maybe Google leading with machismo was a good idea for capturing some marketing share from Apple's iPhone, but now you have to wonder if Google hasn't crossed the line to just...

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Twitter Ponzi

(7) Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 5:55 PM

I started using the site Twunfollow a few months back and since then I've seen evidence of what I call Ponzi schemes on Twitter.

Twunfollow sends you notices via e-mail any time anyone unfollows you on Twitter. I thought this would be a good listening tool to make sure I...

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