Systems Design Thinking Program


Shelley Danner

Adjunct Faculty

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Shelley Danner is an innovative thinker, collaborative partner, and community-builder. She brings multi-dimensional experience including education, business consulting, and nonprofit management, leading with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for social impact. Shelley is co-founder and Program Director of nonprofit Challenge Detroit, launched in 2012, and an adjunct professor in the Systems Design Thinking MFA program at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) since 2017.

Danner has over fifteen years of cultivating expertise in design thinking, leadership development, strategic planning and project management, corporate social responsibility and skills-based giving, partnership development and program design, and nonprofit operations. She has co-created and directed 160+ innovative community project partnerships across Detroit's neighborhoods around social and urban issues such as youth leadership and advocacy, small business growth, homelessness, art and culture, health, community development, mobility, and more. With an interdisciplinary, systems-level, equity-centered approach, she thoughtfully guides individuals, teams, and organizations as they seek to co-create design solutions that propel them forward.

Shelley is also a facilitator and coach, and has given workshops and talks at institutions locally, nationally, and internationally including IE University in Madrid, American University, University of San Diego, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, University of Detroit Mercy, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Cranbrook. She was invited to attend President Obama’s inaugural South by South Lawn for changemakers at the White House in October 2016 and is a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow for Young Cultural Innovators as well as an IDEO U Impact House Fellow and Aspen Institute Fellow through the Philanthropy and Social Innovation AMEX Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

Cum Laude graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in B.S. Business Administration, Shelley received a Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.