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Resources: Programs & Initiatives


Charlottesville Design Marathon
The Design Marathon is an annual event held at the Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC) involving teams of area designers who each provide 12 hours of pro-bono design services to ten deserving area non-profit organizations. Each creative team includes a student pursuing a design-related degree.

CreateAthon on Campus - Virginia Commonwealth University
CreateAthon onCampus is a unique opportunity for students to put their skills and talents to use helping local nonprofit organizations. As part of a semester-long course focused on communication issues specific to nonprofits, college students in the fields of mass communication, marketing and design partner with faculty members and local professionals to develop and produce materials ranging from identity packages to PR strategies — with inspiring, fulfilling results for both the community and the students.

Design Ignites Change
A collaboration between Adobe Youth Voices and the New York-based Worldstudio, Design Ignites Change works with participating college, university and high school groups to encourage students to use design thinking to solve pressing social problems. Financial awards are given to students and initiatives "with the most powerful and provocative solutions."

DESIS Lab at Parsons
The DESIS Lab advances the practice and discourse of design-enabled social innovation toward more sustainable cities. The DESIS-Lab conducts applied research into the ways in which design can enhance community-led initiatives in the development of more sustainable ways of living and working. The DESIS Lab brings together faculty and students from across the disciplines at The New School, led by Parsons The New School for Design and Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.

DESIS Network
DESIS is a network of schools of design and other schools, institutions, companies and non-profit organizations interested in promoting and supporting design for social innovation and sustainability. It is a light, no-profit organization, conceived as a network of partners collaborating in a peer-to-peer spirit. It is articulated in several DESIS-Local (that are sub-networks within a specified local area). DESIS-International is the framework where the different DESIS-Local coordinate themselves and where some global initiatives are taken.

Echoing Green
Fellowship program that has distributed $28 million to more than 450 social entrepreneurs and organizations to tackle society’s most difficult problems.

Impact! Design for Social Change
To remain competitive, corporations are looking for innovation and impact in the area of social change as it relates to their businesses. The non-profit world is seeking new ways to support their constituencies through design strategy. This six-week summer intensive will introduce participants to the growing field of design for social advocacy.

Kickstarter
"Kickstarter is a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors and explorers."

Material Beliefs
Based at the Interaction Research Studio in the department of design at Goldsmiths, University of London, Material Beliefs unites scientists, engineers, designers, social scientists and members of the public in an investigation of emerging biomedical and cybernetic technologies that blur the boundaries between materials and the body.

Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation
Provides office space and advisory support for entrepreneurial students, alumni, and faculty at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Emphasizes links between social enterprise and the business of design. Since its founding in 2002, the incubator has launched six businesses.

Project M
An intensive summer program founded in 2003 by designer John Bielenberg to persuade young graphic designers, writers, photographers and other creative people that their work can have a positive and significant impact on the world.

Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants
"Starbucks has a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism. With the Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants, we use this spirit of innovation to inspire young people to take action to create positive solutions to real local needs they see in their neighborhoods. We believe that by supporting young people, we make real change in local communities and inspire additional individuals to take part in community service."

The Foodprint Project
A collaboration between Nicola Twilley and Sarah Rich, The Foodprint Project is a contextual exploration of food. From the cartography of food supply chains to the molecular anatomy of flavor, from the migration of ethnic recipes to the future of urban agronomy, foodprints look beyond the plate to the social, political, artistic and economic forces that shape the way we eat.

The Governors' Institute on Community Design
Modeled on the Mayors' Institute on City Design, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Governors' Institute on Community Design was created in 2005 as an advisory resource for state leaders to guide development in their states. Runs targeted one- or two-day workshops.

The Mayors' Institute on City Design
National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored program that helps mayors to be the leading urban designers of their cities. Every year, the institute holds half a dozen two-and-a-half-day sessions attended by mayors and development professionals.

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