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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


Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability
Academic course hosted by the Stanford Institute of Design involving graduate students from all seven schools at Stanford University. Multidisciplinary student teams work to create innovations that lie at the intersection of business, technology and human values. The class is project-based, and all projects are done in close partnership with a variety of local and international organizations.

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."

Studio H
Studio H is a one-year high school program for the Bertie County School District in rural North Carolina that combines design thinking, vocational trade skills training, and community citizenship to equip low-opportunity teenagers with critical creative problem solving skills for life. An innovative pedagogical approach, Studio H will empower struggling students through highly collaborative hands-on learning, engage educational capacities to the fullest, and provide a diverse skillset for the next generation to access broader job markets, improve their community and excel academically in the state’s poorest and most racially polarized county.

More Academic Programs >>

Competitions


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.

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.

More Competitions >>

Fellowships & Prizes


TED Prize
The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, s/he unveils his/her wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.

The Lemelson-MIT Awards for Invention and Innovation
The Lemelson-MIT Awards honor both established and rising inventors for their ingenuity, creativity and contribution to invention and innovation. The awards recognize the profound impact that inventors can have on economic and social well-being.

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


Design Corps
Founded in 1991, this Raleigh, North Carolina-based organization uses the talents of recent architecture and planning graduates to provide improvements to low-income rural communities. Supports a program of Community Design Fellows.

Ashoka
Named for a leader who unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century B.C., Ashoka is a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship. Operates in 60 countries through a fellowship program that has supported more than 2,000 participants.

The Designer's Accord
International coalition of more than 170,000 designers, engineers, corporate leaders and others invested in positive social and environmental action. Described as the "Kyoto Treaty of design," the accord requires adopters to follow five guidelines: a public declaration of participation, effort to bring sustainability into client conversations, effort to educate one's design teams about sustainability, consideration of one's own ethical footprint, and contribution to "the communal knowledge base for sustainable design."

More Organizations >>

Programs & Initiatives


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.

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.

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Publications & Websites


Groundswell
"Dedicated to critical cultural production at the intersection of art and activism. We cover artists from around the globe whose work explores and realizes social change. Our goal is to provide a narrative about these activist efforts while simultaneously participating in them."

AIGA Center for Sustainable Design
Offers information to designers involved in sustainable business practices. Features news and articles, a discussion forum and a resources section including readings lists and a PDF library.

Fitwits
Program combating childhood obesity by offering lessons, activities and games that teach children about healthy eating and living. Designed by Carnegie Mellon University School of Design and UPMC Saint Margaret Family Health Centers.

More Publications & Websites >>

Social Networks


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

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."

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.

More Social Networks >>




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