November 19, 2013
Following up on our previous posts on the LEAP Symposium held this past September, Designmatters and the team behind the three-day conference has announced the full release of the Outcomes page, preceding the workbook due out Spring 2014. By capturing the assets and resources generated in photos, illustrations, videos, and writing, they are able to communicate and share their findings with everyone and anyone who visits the site–hopefully sparking new conversations and ideas for practitioners around the world. Do take a look!
LEAP intentionally focuses on new and meaningful professional pathways that are being shaped chiefly by organizations, institutions, companies and individuals based in the US. This emphasis reflects the pool of participants convened: their circles of influence and activity include the regional, national and global, but everyone is also firmly grounded within the context of opportunities and limitations arising in our current national economy.
Click here to read and watch the LEAP Symposium Outcomes, online at LEAPSymposium.org.
Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton.
November 19, 2013
Non-profit design company Design that Matters has just launched a refreshed and revitalized website. The new design simply and beautifully showcases their products, partnerships and global impact, all with an intent focus on the people that matter most–their customers.
Our goal is to deliver a better quality of service, and a better quality of life, to millions of beneficiaries through products designed for our partner social enterprises. We are setting the standard for best practice in design for poor communities in the developing world. We are pushing the limits of technology in rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacture to bring great design to communities currently missed by commercial markets.
Click here to visit the new and improved Design that Matters website, online at DesignThatMatters.org.
November 18, 2013
“Black swans and wayward thinkers” unite this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Social Innovation Summit hosted at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. The twice annual event brings together leaders, thinkers, and practitioners “not just to talk about the next big thing, but to build it.” Joining will.i.am, Method’s Adam Lowry, Google Giving’s Jacquelline Fuller, and many other prominent leaders, Autodesk president and CEO Carl Bass will speak on the morning of Wednesday November 20th about “The Design-Led Revolution,” highlighting the Technology Impact software donation program.
We believe that access to Autodesk technology can help nonprofits unlock their creativity to imagine, design, and create a better world. The Technology Impact program is a continuation of Autodesk’s long-standing support of nonprofit organizations and social enterprises.
Click here to read more and see the two-day agenda for the Social Innovation Summit.
November 18, 2013
Fast Co Exist’s ‘Change Generation’ series recently featured the work of nonprofit IDEO.org, now two years old. Co-leads Jocelyn Wyatt and Patrice Martin speak about the organization’s vision and the work the team has done both globally and nationally. As a leader in human-centered design for social enterprises and charities, IDEO.org sets the bar high with a keen focus on knowledge building through sharing project processes, creating free online courses and toolkits, and organizing an online platform for global practitioners. Martin describes this more:
I think the ethos of our culture is that you don’t have the answer, but you have ways in which to find it. We know we can’t do this alone, and when we think about the immense amount of challenges that we want to be affecting, Ideo.org will be small unless we get everybody changing their practice and thinking about people and trying things, experimenting, being involved. So we’re investing in tools and platforms that can get that methodology out to the world.
Click here to read “Bringing Design Thinking To Social Problems, Ideo.org Focuses On The People In Need,” online at FastCoExist.com.
November 18, 2013
In the lead up to Public Interest Design Institute’s SEED Training at Yale School of Architecture last week, WNPR host John Dankosky spoke with Alan Plattus, professor at Yale and founder of Yale Urban Design Workshop, Bryan Bell, Executive Director of Design Corps, and Anne Frederick, Founding Director of Hester Street Collective. Kicking off the show with a quote from our own John Cary, Dankosky digs into the work of Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Rural Studio, and many other organizations–including those of the guests–who are ‘Solving Social Problems Using Public Interest Design.’
“Social” or “public-interest” design is working in high-risk neighborhoods all over the country, proving that thoughtful, community-involved design ideas really can address a community’s critical issues and needs. Architect Bryan Bell says, “Never before have so many of the world’s problems been as accessible to design solutions.”
Click here to listen to the entire show, online at WNPR.org.
November 15, 2013
The team behind infant warmer Embrace–and the for-profit arm, Embrace Innovations–will be honored with The Economist’s Innovation Award on December 3rd in London. Jane Chen, Rahul Panicker, Naganand Murty and Linus Liang will receive the Social & Economic Innovation Award for their work in tackling this staggering statistic: “20 million premature and low-birth-weight babies are born around the world each year and four million of them die within the first four weeks of life – about 450 per hour.” Their commitment to underserved communities around the world is especially notable.
The nonprofit organisation Embrace has now set up 20 programs in 10 countries to distribute the warmer. It has hired local staff and established partnerships around the globe, including Afghanistan, Uganda, China, Guatemala and South Sudan. Recognizing that technology alone is not enough to solve the problem of hypothermia, Embrace integrates the warmer into public health education programs to have a deeper and more lasting impact on the communities it serves.
Click here to read more about Embrace’s award and watch the live presentation December 3rd, online at EconomistInnovationLive.com.
November 15, 2013
“If you’re going to help the developing world, you can’t just airlift in supplies we use in the rich world. You need to deeply understand how the people there live, then design things that make sense for their specific conditions,” writes IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown in WIRED magazine’s recent article, In the Developing World, Smart Design Can Make the Difference Between Life and Death. To reinforce his statement, Brown and contributing authors Liz Stinson, Kyle Vanhemert and Mark Yarm showcase six products that have been designed specifically for people who live in marginalized areas of the world.
From Global Good’s Mazzi Milk Jug for three-cow dairy farmers to D-Rev’s Brilliance Jaundice Lamp for remote medical centers to Caltech’s Solar-Powered Toilet that recycles and sterilizes water for areas without sanitation systems, it’s apparent that each design has been deeply rooted in the place and people for whom it aims to serve.
Over the past few years, design has become a crucial tool in helping the developing world. And that makes sense. After all, designers aren’t just obsessed with fashion and form—they are trained to articulate people’s needs and desires and to build devices we will actually use.
Click here to read about the six smartly designed products, online at Wired.com
November 14, 2013
Fast Company recently profiled the work of the multidisciplinary team DOME who, as described by their full name “Designing Out Medical Error”, is uncovering and tackling common medical mistakes that lead to tens of thousands of deaths each year. One prototype solution, the CareCentre, contains all the essential items–hand gel, gloves, aprons, drug locker, waste and needle bins, chart surface, and storage slot–that they found many practitioners were constantly collecting for each new patient rather than focusing on treatment.
During patient observations, the DOME team noticed practitioners often had to hunt for hand sanitizer, gloves, and aprons. Many had to carry around bins to dispose of needles. Medication cabinets were often blocked or located far from the bedside. And there wasn’t always an easy place to scribble notes into a patient chart. Each of these problems is fraught with the potential for a preventable medical error.
Click here to read the full article on DOME’s research and design, online at FastCoDesign.com.
November 14, 2013
BBC’s Horizons Business series about business ideas of the future recently featured BioLite Homestoves for their programme on air pollution. In the village of Palwal, India, Ethan Kay, Managing Director of Emerging Markets at BioLite, expounded on their 12 month field trial in India and Africa. Along with demonstrating the technology–which includes power to charge a mobile phone and an evening light in addition to smoke-free cooking–Kay spoke about the challenges BioLite is addressing with selling a $40 stove to people who live on $1 a day. One of the local women explained the circumstances they face best.
I’m aware of the risk because with the smoke, your eyes are watering and we keep coughing. The thing is, we’re poor people and we can’t afford to buy anything very expensive and then keep replacing it. So whatever we do, we keep coming back to the traditional style of cooking because that is the cheapest for us.
Click here to watch the video on BioLite, online at HorizonsBusiness.com.
November 13, 2013
Following up on our post about Autodesk’s Technology Impact software donation program, Metropolis Magazine POV contributor Finn Ferris interviews one of the first recipients, MASS Design Group, about the significance of the donation. “By providing free licenses to non-profits, the Autodesk Foundation is allowing organizations to operate to their fullest potential, and has helped enable MASS to bring architecture to communities otherwise excluded from good design,” says Michael Murphy, Co-founder & Executive Director at MASS. Autodesk Foundation president Lynelle Cameron speaks further about the announcement to support 500 nonprofit organizations with software, which has begun with leading organizations MASS, D-Rev and Kickstart International.
When I shared our commitment to provide design software to any nonprofit organization who shares our vision of a better world, I could see the light bulbs go off. Collectively, we have the power to design a different future and we are on that path.