About Emer

Emer Beamer founded Designathon Works in 2014 to empower children globally to design a better world.

Prior to that she co-founded Butterfly Works to co-create social change with young people in the Global South. The eLearning programs she co-created, ‘the World starts with Me’ (Uganda 2004) and ‘Learning about Living’ (Nigeria 2007) have been adapted for 15 countries in Africa and Asia and won prizes from amongst others the United Nations. 
Her very first social enterprise was NairoBits, in 2000, a web design school for young people from informal settlements of Nairobi. What began as an art project is now a family of schools in 5 African countries with graduates securing jobs in the formal tech sector.

Emer was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2016, and a Global Innovator of Dubai Expo 2020. She holds a Bacherlor of Commerce from University College Dublin and studied Design at the Rietveld Academy. The connecting principle in her work is empowering learners to learn by becoming the author, creator and maker of their own world.


THNK, Amsterdam
School of Creative Leadership, an international post graduate program in creativity, innovation and leadership.

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Youth participation in NGO’s

Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Design (graphic / web / interaction)

University College Dublin, Ireland
Bachelor of Commerce

2 thoughts on “About Emer

  1. Hallo Suzana, for children who are just beginning with design it is good to keep things concrete, ‘relational design’ is quite abstract but I think Experience design is something they can relate to very well. It depends how you offer it and how you find a way to relate it to their current knowledge. Hope that helps, Emer

  2. Dear Emer,
    Bout your post: “Why you SHOULD use Design thinking approaches in education!” – I would like to know if, in your opinion we could also include: Experience Design and Relational Design (Blauvelt)* into the list you suggest, about terms with similar processes?
    Thank you very much.

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