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Published by: api-25888835 on Apr 09, 2010
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10/24/2012

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 D e s i g n  F o r  S o c i a l  I m p a c t 
 W o r k  s h o p
 
JULY 2008DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT 3
The private sector has long since learned this deceptively simple lesson.These days, you can’t touch anything—rom a vegetable peeler to atoothbrush, a cell phone to a sneaker—without seeing (and eeling) thedierence design can make and the commercial success it can help oster.
Recently, this same eect has been demonstrated in the social sector. When design frmscollaborate with NGOs, dramatic breakthroughs also emerge. For instance, IDEO worked withKickStart to create the MoneyMaker Pump, a small but powerul small-acreage irrigation pumpwith hard-to-ignore impact: Since 1991, the pump has contributed to the creation o 64,000new businesses, generating $79 million a year in new profts and wages which is equivalentto more than 0.6% o Kenya’s GDP. Similar exemplary case studies exist: The LieStraw, aportable water purifer that looks like a giant straw, has helped prevent common water-bornediseases and Forbes magazine has called it one o the “ten things that will change the waywe live.” One Laptop Per Child, the brainchild o Nicholas Negroponte o MIT Media Lab ame,was launched through collaboration with design frms Continuum, Pentagram and Fuse Projectto create an elegantly designed low-cost computer that could be used as a powerul educationaltool. More important, it is an example o the power o design to help elevate, onto a global stage,the importance o investing in education or children in developing countries.From time to time, a design or social impact fnds its way into the media spotlight or itsfteen minutes o ame. These powerul but isolated examples cannot be enough. The realchallenge is to move rom intermittent cases o success to a systemic approach thatunleashes and leverages the power o the global design community on some o the world’smost intractable problems.
 
 Des ign ma k es a d i f feren ce
 Des ig n  Fo r  Soc ia l  I m pac t   Wo r ks ho p 
 Be l lag io,  I ta l y
 
4JULY 2008DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT 5
The problem is
that this great orm ocollaboration between design frms andthe social sector is still not aordable andthus, not yet routine. Noted innovation expertClayton Christensen says that disruptiveinnovation—the kind that makes the biggestimpact and goes on to reshape industries andmarkets—
democratizes scarce expertise
.It makes something that was once rare andcostly, routine and aordable.
 
TheChallengeAtHand

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