Who We Are

a team of learning designers, researchers & strategists.

Our Team

Mindy Faber

Co-Founder and Executive Director


Convergence Design Lab's Executive Director is a long-time media educator, artist and advocate with expertise in connected learning, youth media, civic education and digital literacy. Before launching CDL, Mindy served as the Program Director for Convergence Academies, a U.S. Department of Education 3 million dollar multi-year school reform initiative. Mindy has also taught at the high school, college and graduate school level. As a media artist, Mindy won numerous awards, prizes and fellowships including a Peabody Prize, a Rockefeller Fellowship and the Main Video Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. Mindy grew up in Kentucky and now lives in the city she loves, Chicago where she roots for the Cubbies and the UK Wildcats equally.

Margaret Conway



Margaret is an educator whose passion is collaborating to create engaging, participatory learning experiences. She applies human centered experience design to all of her work and possesses a theoretical background in connected learning, curriculum design, evaluation/assessment, professional development, and participatory media. Before the launch of Convergence Design Lab, Margaret served as Media Integration Specialist for Convergence Academies, where she collaborated with educators on incorporating digital media into the classroom and designed curricula for youth and adults. Prior to that she was a classroom teacher and teaching artist, with experience in gamelike learning and arts integration. A Chicago native, Margaret holds a B.A. in Social Science and Spanish from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Educational Theatre from NYU. When not geeking out about learning design, she can be found rowing or chasing her two kids.

Jacob Watson

Researcher/Education Specialist


Jacob Watson is a socially-engaged artist, researcher, and educator. He designs plays, workshops, conversations, and public programs that move people into deeper understanding of themselves and their communities. Jacob is a founding member of the FYI Performance Company at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and an organizer for Swarm Artist Residency. He has also been a researcher at Project Zero and a program manager for interdisciplinary learning initiatives at Columbia College Chicago. He currently works as a consultant and coach specializing in learning and community engagement, through a justice lens. Jacob received his Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and B.A. in Theatre from Northwestern University. He is also a scenic designer, performer, graphic designer, singer, mover, facilitator, deep thinker, teacher, and scholar.

Serene Arena

Civic Media Fellow


Serene is a visual strategist, designer and educator with 15+ years of experience working with social impact organizations and teaching design. Her expertise lies in creating engagements using intentional interactions between individuals and larger social systems. She is currently a graduate student in Columbia College Chicago’s Civic Media MA program. She enjoys working on abstract black and white drawings, reading lots of books, and doing yoga at home with her dog, Lucy.


We partner with learning organizations, networks, libraries, school districts, funders and companies serving the needs of young people and adult learners.

American Library Association
Chicago Learning Exchange
Columbia College Chicago
Chicago Public Schools Office of Equity
Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society/Harvard
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago Cultural Alliance
Columbia College Chicago
Connected Learning Alliance
Economic Awareness Council
Free Spirit Media
Homewood Science and Technology Center
Illinois Humanities Council
Lime Red Studio
Madison Metropolitan School District
Media Education Lab
National Association of Media Literacy Educators
MHA Labs
Northbrook School District
Playground City
People Powered Publishing Conference
School Specialty
Senn High School
Spy Hop
Urban Alliance
Young Adult Library Services Association
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education