SOCIAL IMPACT AND DESIGN
The future of society (and the future of design) is sustainable, and we want to help those making a positive impact on our world.
In the following, you can learn more about how social impact and design are interconnected and how they complement each other.
What is Social Impact?
Social impact measures how we affect others and the world around us. The University of Michigan Center for Social Impact defines it as "a significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge".
We care more than ever about how companies and design are affecting society and the environment, and how they are responding to the problems we all are facing.
What does it have to do with design?
Everything – or nothing at all.
Innovation that is created by design has improved how we all live, while increased material consumption has put immense stress on our natural environment.
With methods such as design thinking and an unconventional perspective, the design community is in a unique position to tackle wicked problems like those addressed in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Where to start?
If you are interested in learning more about organizations working for a social impact, have a look at our resources below. There you can also find inspiration for your own social impact journey, whether it is supporting an existing initiative or starting your own.
If you or your organization already have a project or project that strives to make a social impact, consider entering our . Selected projects may be awarded a share of up to EUR 100,000 in prize money each year.
Social Impact Resources
blog gathers stories of social impact initiatives all over the world and is edited by the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan. Updated regularly, the blog offers a delightful range of topics, from solar irrigation to dry toilets to microcredits.
is an international network of social entrepreneurship around the globe that calls itself “a living encyclopedia of social innovation“. They offer a range of Open Access resources to help newcomers on their own social impact journey.
in Australia conducts research projects into solving societal problems Down Under, bringing together leaders from government, business and civil society. They present some of their findings on their website.
calls itself the 'agency for social innovation' and indeed, they have organized a number of services and products to promote social entrepreneurship, mainly in Germany. Their website offers a very detailed calendar for social impact events in Germany.