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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.

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 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.

INDEX:awards
The INDEX:Award is the main driver of INDEX:'s mission to generate more Design to Improve Life of higher quality all over the world. The award receives nominations from all over the globe – and from these nominations, the INDEX: international jury selects the best as finalists, and the very best as winners of the biennial award, amounting to a total sum of 500,000 euros. Each of the five winners represents one of the INDEX:Award categories – Body, Home, Work, Play and Community – that together span the spectrum of human activity and are relevant and understandable to people all over the world.

More Fellowships & Prizes >>

Organizations


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."

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

Project for Public Spaces
New York-based non-profit dedicated to creating and sustaining vibrant community spaces. Since its founding in 1975 has served 2,000 communities in 26 countries.

More Organizations >>

Programs & Initiatives


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.

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.

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


Social Design Notes
Social designer John Emerson's weblog is a "collection of notes on the built environment, graphic design, product design, architecture, the decisions we make and the impact they have."

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.

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."

More Publications & Websites >>

Social Networks


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.

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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