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Resources

This page offers regularly updated lists of organizations, opportunities, and events related to social change. Click on the following categories for more information.



Upcoming Conferences


All Conferences & Events >>

Academic Programs


Designmatters
Educational program founded in 2001 at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, to advance the discussion of design education’s role in today’s world. Focuses on global health care, public policy, social entrepreneurship and sustainable human development. Manages three to five major projects per term across multiple disciplines.

The Rural Studio
Auburn University program co-founded by the late Samuel Mockbee that engages students and a select pool of graduates from outside the university in the practice of community-based architecture in Alabama.

BaSiC Initiative
"The BaSiC Initiative is a collaboration of faculty and students from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture. We support community partnerships through: housing solutions for Native Americans, housing and community services for migrant farm workers, schools and health clinics in central Mexico, etc. Each program draws upon the unique relationship of communities to their environment, finding solutions that embrace appropriate technologies while reinforcing local values to spur self-initiated development."

More Academic Programs >>

Competitions


Re:Vision
Initiative to create the prototype for an innovative, sustainable urban community. At the heart of the process is a series of contests generating visionary ideas for what can and should be done in the design of urban space.

INDEX Design Challenge : Design for Education
The INDEX: Design Challenge asks design and business students, as well as cross-disciplinary student teams, to develop design solutions for better education and education environments in developing regions. The challenge centers around three sub-themes: Improved Education Facilities; Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Parity in Education. As well, the contest features an open challenge. Participants from all design disciplines are invited to enter the challenge.

More Competitions >>

Fellowships & Prizes


Curry Stone Design Prize
The Curry Stone Design Prize honors an individual or group for developing and implementing a visionary design innovation. These emerging projects address critical issues such as access to clean air, food and water, shelter, health care, energy, education, social justice and the promotion of peace. Winning projects engage communities at the fulcrum of change, raising awareness, empowering individuals and fostering collective revitalization.

The Secretary's Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls
The Secretary’s Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls seeks to find and bring to scale the most pioneering approaches to the political, economic and social empowerment of women and girls around the globe. Founded on the premise that the major economic, security, governance and environmental challenges of our time cannot be solved without the full participation of women at all levels of society, this award supports the Department of State’s commitment to the advancement of women globally.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. It attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.

More Fellowships & Prizes >>

Organizations


IxDA
Member-supported community dedicated to the professional practice of interaction design. Sponsors annual conference.

D-Rev
D-Rev is a nonprofit design firm and technology incubator that develops market-driven products to improve the health and incomes of people living on less than $2 per day. Their mission is to start a design revolution in the way products are designed, marketed and distributed. They enable new sources of income and improved healthcare for people who represent the "other 90%” of the world.

The Graphic Alliance
A network for graphic designers, website developers and other professionals who are pursuing social change. "We are committed to helping build a new social order based on direct democracy, communal economics, human rights and ecological sensibility. We believe that design and technology are important aspects of the struggle for freedom, peace and social justice. We stand united in our opposition to concentrated power, discrimination and oppression in its many forms. We promote social ownership and democratic control over information, ideas, technology and the means of communication."

More Organizations >>

Programs & Initiatives


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

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.

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.

More Programs & Initiatives >>

Publications & Websites


Creative for a Cause
A resource for educators in visual communications. Emphasizes ways to teach students to incorporate social and ethical perspectives into their work. Provides case studies, relevant publications and funding sources.

Grist
"Grist has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999.... Now that green is in every headline and on every store shelf (bamboo hair gel, anyone?), Grist is the one site you can count on to help you make sense of it all."

Trackernews.net
TrackerNews.net is an aggregator with a few twists. Its beat covers health issues, humanitarian work, technology that supports both and is broadly defined. "Health," for example, includes animal, plant and planetary health along with human health. Every humanitarian crisis, of course, has a health component and vice-versa. It is all of a piece. TrackerNews is about the mix and the match of news, research and innovation. It is a medium as well as a resource.

More Publications & Websites >>

Social Networks


Design 21
UNESCO and the Japan-based company Felissimo are behind this network, which connects designers, businesses and nonprofits for the greater good and hosts competitions to create socially minded products and graphics.

BOP Source
"Social network that closes the digital divide, bringing together the 4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid (the 'BOP') with the companies and NGOs that want to hire them and design products and services for them."

Open Architecture Network
An online, open-source community founded by Architecture for Humanity. Offers a place where designers can share ideas and projects and host or participate in competitions

More Social Networks >>




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