"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 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.
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.
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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.
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Fellowships & Prizes
The John P. McNulty Prize
The John P. McNulty Prize seeks to inspire young people from around the world to make a real difference in their communities by recognizing the very best in high-impact leadership. The Prize recognizes the best of the exceptional leadership projects undertaken by the Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. The winner of the Prize will receive a $100,000 award to further his or her leadership project.
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 Do Something Awards
Since 1996, DoSomething.org has honored the nation's best world-changers, ages 25 and under, that are making the world a better place. Nominees and winners represent the pivotal "do-ers" in their field, cause, or issue.
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The desigNYC collective was formed by group of designers and design advocates with the mission of helping nonprofit and community groups in need of design services connect with professional, pro bono design resources. desigNYC was inspired by President Obama's and Mayor Bloomberg's Service initiatives and other groups doing great work in New York City and beyond.
Project H Design
Charitable venture founded in 2008 by Emily Pilloton that champions design as a tool for social improvement, especially in the realm of products. "A nonprofit coalition of hundreds of designers worldwide who work locally and globally to develop and implement product design solutions for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness."
Nonprofit design consultancy that provides building and implementation help to organizations in need of products for social change.
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Programs & Initiatives
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 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.
Fellowship program that has distributed $28 million to more than 450 social entrepreneurs and organizations to tackle society’s most difficult problems.
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Publications & Websites
Personal Democracy Forum
Webzine and social network that fosters discussion of the intersection between politics and technology, concentrating on social and political changes wrought by the internet. Issues calls to action through advocacy section. Hosts annual conferences in the U.S. and abroad.
Jetson Green is an online magazine, updated daily, that publishes information about all aspects of green building, including sustainable architecture and eco-friendly development. The chief editor, Preston Koerner, began the site as an MBA student, and he is now also an LEED AP. Jetson Green’s aim is to get the reader obsessed with the issue.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
"Strategies, tools and ideas for nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses"
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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
"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."
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.
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