Steve Downs is a co-founder at Building H, a project to build health into everyday life. Steve, his Building H co-founder Thomas Goetz, and other collaborators are growing a community of entrepreneurs, investors, designers, engineers and researchers who believe that we need to re-imagine everyday life—how we eat, sleep, get from place to place, socialize and entertain ourselves—to be healthy by design. In addition to community building, Building H and their collaborators are developing tools to help companies understand the impacts of their products and services on the health and well-being of their users. Downs is an adjunct faculty member at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford d.school).
Prior to his role at Building H, Steve was the chief technology and strategy officer at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), where he focused on the practice of program strategy and on the alignment of the Foundation’s technology strategy and operations with its organizational directions. Downs also had a long programming career at RWJF, funding efforts to provide patients with better access to information and tools to manage their health; to support the field of public health informatics; and more.
Downs also served in government at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he directed a grant program to support applications of the Internet in areas such as health, education, and public safety, and in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as a research fellow.