A little about me. 

I am a designer and social entrepreneur based in Rio de Janeiro, working and living with low income communities to create sustainable collaborative solutions in the areas of education, culture, sustainability and health through design.

In the past years I've been working with innovation and gamification consultancy, design research, design education and social innovation research, P2P networks and open design. I've been teaching Design Research for the past 3 years at PUC-Rio, one of the leading design universities of Brazil.

Selected as one of the 75 young social entrepreneurs worldwide to attend the United Nations (UNAOC/EF) Summer School in NYC, out of 15.000 applicants.

Author of the book "Gamification,inc. Recreating companies through games". Avaliable for download in English and portuguese.

#designresearch#socialinnovation ,#gamification#servicedesign


Linkedin: https://br.linkedin.com/in/samaratanaka


Previously to becoming an entrepreneur, I wored at MJV Technology and Innovation as a Strategic Innovation consultant and co-head of the Gamification department, doing Innovation and gamification consultancy for brazilian and international companies. Since 2003 working as a graphic and interaction designer in OM.art/ Osklen as designer coordinator; at Oestudio as a multidisciplinary designer; at Flashpoint, in the USA, as a junior designer, at [X] Brasil–communication for public causes as a junior designer/art director, and at Tecnopop as a design intern.


Academic experiences include a current position as Design Research LecturerPUC-Rio University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013 - current). Past experiences include Teaching Assistance in Interface Design (KISD, 2010) and Teaching Assistance in Visual Communication (ESDI, 2003).


MA Integrated Design, KISD (Koeln International School of Design, Fachhochschule Koeln), Cologne, Germany (2009-2011)
Areas: Design research, design and politics

BA Industrial Design, ESDI/UERJ (Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2000-2004)
Areas: Graphic and Product Design

Several courses in the areas of Service Design, Programming, Interaction Design, Building type with Python, Theatre of the Oppressed, Fluxonomia 4D, among many others.


[2014 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil] Book Gamification, Inc. Recreating companies through games. Co-author of book by MJV Press (www.gamificationbook.com)

[2013 | Cologne, Germany] Froh Magazine. Article for Froh Magazin, from Germany, about the process of a social entrepreneur in the slums of Rio. (http://frohmagazin.de)

[2008 | New York, USA] Two Degrees of Separation. Fighting Climate Change: Human solidarity in a divided world, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). Creation of illustrations for the report


Tanaka, S. et al. (2013) “Building the Bridge: Mix methods to leverage service design within enterprises”. Touchpoint Journal, Service Design Network (Vol. 5 No. 1, 2013)

Tanaka, S. (2013) “Designing in extreme situations: creating social change through craft”. Proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference - Crafting the Future. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Rocha,T., Tanaka, S., Adler, I. (2013) “Project Cycles for Innovation in Insurance Market”. Proceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference. Lahti, Finland.

Tanaka, S. (2011). Designing for citizen-government interaction. Master Thesis, Koeln International School of Design.


Presentation about a Design Thinking consultancy (“The Gas Station of the Future”) at Forum Aba Marketing [09/2014]

Presentation at “Design and Mediation” Seminar, ESDI/UERJ [2016]


Experience in giving several talks and lectures in companies, universities and online (webinars) on the themes of Gamification, Strategic Design, Open Design P2P and Social Innovation. 

Lecture for Enactus students, UFRJ [Rio de Janeiro, 2016]

Webinar “Gamificação na Prática” (“Applying Gamification”), during the online conference  Innovation Experts. Watched live by more than 800 people and rated top 3 for rerun [2014]

Gamification Lecture, MBA in Branding Innovation, Faculdades Rio Branco [Rio de Janeiro, 2014] 

Lecture “Gamification: reinventing companies through games” at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, during Seminários Subjetividade, Sociabilidade e Gestão (Subjectivity, Sociability and Management Seminars) FGV-Rio [2014]

Lecture Social Innovation and Open Design P2P at Debulha Student Summit [Natal, RN, Brazil, 2014]

Webinar “Gamificação para gestão de mudança” (“Gamification for change management”),  Recording can be watched here (portuguese). MJV [2014]

Lecture Open Design P2P, at R Design Student Summit [Rio de Janeiro, 2014]

Gamification, at R Design Student summit [Rio de Janeiro, 2014]

Lecture Social Innovation. Eita Design! Student Summit. [Rio Tinto, Paraíba, Brazil, 2014]

Webinar “Start: Colocando em prática a gamificação”, (“Start: putting Gamification into practice”).  Recording can be watched here (Portuguese) MJV [2013]

Lecture Open Design P2P at “Design na Praça” (“Design at the Public Square”) during Rio Design Week [Rio de Janeiro, 2013]

Design Aberto P2P (Open Design P2P), at Pavão, Esdi/Uerj [Rio de Janeiro, 2013]


Design Thinking Workshop, Harvard Business Review Forum, MJV [São Paulo, 2014]

Mentoring Technology Activists for Tech4Good, at Global Entrepereneurship Week in Rio de Janeiro, 2014

Design Thinking training at several companies through MJV Technology and Innovation.


Rio de Janeiro Host of the Global Sustainability Jam in 2012 and the Global Service Jam, in 2013.


Democractic Design Experiments, in Bornholm, Denmark, in 2015. During the Political Festival (Folkemødet), the #OpenDesignP2P was presented as part of the exhibition.

Video art exhibition, part of "Grenzen des möglichen von medium und material" (Limites of possibilities of medium and material). Raum Kalk, Colônia, Alemanha. 2010.