(Re)Introducing the Shift US Team

Since 2011, Shift has had a presence in the United States and has been growing since then. Originally located in San Francisco, we are now based in New Orleans, Louisiana where we have a full-time staff of three people. Shift operates in the UK as a Charitable Foundation (1134546) and in the US as Shift Design Inc, a 501c3 non-profit corporation.

US Team photo
The US team: Lynette Johnson, Jon Voss and Hali Dardar


While focused largely on the work of Historypin and the development of onestorycloser.org, the US team shares the same methodologies, ways of working, and values as the UK team. We are applying our research-led, user-centered design approach to create solutions that meet user needs, are financially sustainable and have a profound social impact.

Some highlights

Over the past five years some highlights of our work in the US include:

// With support from the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund, we created Historypin’s Sourdough & Rye, a series of community events and partnerships to share stories and map the history of the Jewish community in the SF Bay Area.

// Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in partnership with Stanford University’s Center for Spacial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), we conducted a two-year research project on the use of crowdsourcing and scholarly collaboration with knowledge communities in the digital humanities

// We worked with the US National Archives to help them develop user-centered design practices to support their mission of widely sharing historical government data with the public

// Led user-centered design projects and strategy sessions with organizations like University of California Riverside Library, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, Johnson C. Smith University, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, New Mexico Highlands University, and dozens more

// We partnered with the Santa Ana Public Library on the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Memories of Migrations project, a three year project that has included story sharing and local history projects in Queens, NY; West Hartford, CT; and the state of New Mexico.

// We’ve organized international convenings to advance collaboration and equity in cultural heritage, including the Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museum Summit, the Cultural Heritage and Social Change Summit, the Library Make’n’Shake, and the upcoming Architecting Sustainable Futures symposium on community-based archives

// After years of research, prototyping and iteration, we’ve launched the One Story Closer campaign, with support from the Knight Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and McCune Foundation

In the coming year, the Shift US team will be expanding into other issue areas and announcing new projects, so please watch this space.

The board

In the meantime, we’d also like to formally introduce the current board of the US organization:

 Rachel Frick is the Chair of the board, and is Executive Director, Research Library Partnership at OCLC, bringing 20 years of broad-based library experience.



Chris Panos is board Treasurer. A long time social entrepreneur, Chris is Principal of Irinda Capital as well as being Board Chair for Zen Peacemakers International, Board President of Zen Hospice Project and an advisor for Wild Hair Media.


Abigail Phillips is Head of Legal for Mozilla Foundation. She brings invaluable experience in Internet law, digital copyright and content issues.



Bergis Jules is an archivist interested in developing solutions for building capacity and achieving sustainability in community-based cultural heritage organizations that focus on documenting the lives of marginalized people.


David Lubensky is Principal at Bagatto, Inc where he leads strategic research and design efforts, facilitates executive workshops and brainstorms, publishes sustainability and international health research insights, mentors external research and design teams, and patents novel technologies with his collaborators.


Heather Bornfeld is a Clinical Psychologist who provides psychotherapy to adolescents, adults, and older adults, with a specialty in working with persons in late-life.


Nick Stanhope is the founder and CEO of Shift.