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  • Steven Cornish

    Great article. I believe the people who will create the biggest social impact not only understand the issue and have these 4 core skills, but have lived it. With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 (the youth bracket), Africa has the youngest population in the world. Just imagine the possibilities.

  • Leonardo Martins Dias

    Good article! Thank you!

    I really believe you do not design YOUR solution, but co-create it.
    In addition, the final customer - the people who are under exclusion situation - is key. I believe in empower them to generate real and collective impact.

    This is considered in the social technology I created and am implementing in world deprived areas focusing in Brazilian favelas:

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Interesting. Would love to know more Leonardo! I just sent you an email!

  • Casey Caplowe

    I was just down at Dallas, speaking at this AIGA DFW event last night and i shared your point about the importance of just "DOING." I really like that. It's so important.

    • designforamerica

      Thanks for your note Casey! Yes, sometimes we get so caught up in the talking or the theory. It's refreshing to just get out there and start doing. We often learn so much more and more quickly this way as we don't know what we don't know and persevering through the unsexy things are often what it takes to get actually get things done. Things like showing up, knocking on someones door, picking up the phone, learning legal jargon to get an agreement in can be what makes or breaks a project.

  • Anne Burdick

    Thanks for a great summary, Sami. It was an honor to work with the entire team.

    • designforamerica

      Ditto Anne! Was so impressed with all the teams and how much everything really came together. Was a great group and enjoyed working with you! :)

  • Mariana Amatullo

    It was great to host participants like those in your group. Thanks for sharing this perspective, Sami! Mariana

  • Mariana Amatullo

    Thank you Sami for taking the time to share this work--it was just a thrill to host participants like you at the LEAP Symposium! Cheers, Mariana Amatullo/Designmatters

    • designforamerica

      It was such a wonderful gathering Mariana. Congrats to a successful event and thank you for bringing so many wonderful people together that we got to meet!

  • Melanie Kahl

    While all points land really well (from doing to research to bridging), "Understanding Different Worlds" is an area that isn't often discussed and can be illusive especially for younger practitioners. Switching from academia to government to grassroots to nonprofit to corporate and learning (and still learning) the mechanics of these worlds politically, culturally, and organizationally is one of the more tacitly important aspects of my career. As designers begin to know and navigate different contexts, they can begin to champion the more transformative work of bridging and cross-pollinating worlds.

    How might we provide experiences that help designers in the social impact space gain understanding and fluidity of diverse contexts as they create and implement strategies for the greater good?

    Lovely summary, Sami!

    • Anne Burdick

      Melanie—agreed! Design education has long addressed how to work with industry but has failed to deal with other kinds of partners such as mission-driven or research-driven organizations and institutions. I think there is real work to be done here so that our programs graduate designers who can "champion the more transformative work of bridging and cross-pollinating worlds."

      • designforamerica

        Lovely conversation getting started here. And yes, definitely agree that learning to navigate these worlds are critical. I've seen a lot of project-base learning courses help with this, but it's a lot to learn in one go i.e. reach out to partners, establish relationships with them, assess the decision-making hierarchy, be ethically sensitive etc.

        Anne and Mel- do you have any books that you'd recommend on the topic? We are compiling some additional resources and writing a bit of our own. Would love to know what you suggest looking at!

  • designforamerica

    Thanks Alex! Great working with you last week!

  • Alex Cabunoc

    Very nice article. thank you for sharing this. One tiny edit... My last name is spelled "Cabunoc". Thanks! - Alex

    • Adele Peters

      Hi Alex, I just changed it. Sorry we didn't have the chance to meet at LEAP! I'd love to learn more about your work.