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Ilana Ben-Ari

Design Thinker and Founder of Twenty One Toys

Ilana Ben-Ari is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of Twenty One Toys. The company’s first product is The Empathy Toy, a 3-D abstract puzzle that was originally designed with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to bridge the communication gap between visually impaired students and their sighted classmates.

Ilana Ben-Ari is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of Twenty One Toys. The company’s first product is The Empathy Toy, a 3-D abstract puzzle that was originally designed with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to bridge the communication gap between visually impaired students and their sighted classmates. It is now used as a tool for empathic learning and creative education for people of varying ages and abilities. Already in thousands of schools, homes and offices worldwide, it was featured in TIME as one of six new technologies shaping classrooms and offices of the future. Her new product, The Failure Toy, will be released soon.

Ilana has won multiple awards, including C2MTL’s emerging entrepreneur award. She has spoken at TEDx and at conferences around the world, and has been featured in the Guardian and the Independent, among others. She has been working at the intersection of design and social innovation for a decade at studios in Montreal, Helsinki, London, and most recently, Toronto.