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Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
avatar for Melissa Rancourt

Melissa Rancourt

Academic Director of Global Executive MS in Strategic Design and Management
Melissa leads the Global Executive Masters of Science Degree in Strategic Design & Management at Parsons School of Design. This degree, designed for professionals, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who have already forged a path in their professional lives, is 18-months in length and includes experience in three international intensives in Paris, New York and Shanghai.

Melissa Rancourt is a long-time educator for leaders, companies and governmental institutions on the subject of innovation, creativity, disruption and transformation. Born in Italy to parents of Greek & French heritage – raised in 10 states in the USA – and now a citizen and resident of Brussels for the past 18 years, she brings this mix of international cultures to her approach to business and societal impact.

For more than twenty-five years, Melissa Rancourt has worked to help organisations and individuals globally to develop their creativity and skills to share their work, expand their reach, and motivate their teams. Her background is varied – an Industrial Engineer starting in manufacturing and healthcare to University Faculty teaching several technical and business subjects to an Entrepreneur who loves to create businesses. Melissa uses all these professional backgrounds and experiences to bring Strategic Design to the forefront in companies and to show how the design process and tools can be used to infuse the culture with creativity to transform new ways, products and services for the future.

She addresses professional audiences at international conferences on business and societal subjects. She was recently a speaker at Cannes International Festival of Creativity in France and The NextWeb in Amsterdam on the subject of Design Thinking. She is a two-time TEDx speaker for Brussels and Luxembourg, a United Nations speaker on Human Rights, a Parliament speaker on equality, a Moderator for the preparations of the European Election and presents at events of all sizes in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She has appeared on the US TV show Living Abroad, Bloomberg, Euronews and several other media.