Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

11 people think this is good

Shaping Design Education at LEAP Symposium

Andrew Shea

What are the emerging career pathways for designers in the social innovation space? LEAP Symposium brought together 100 national thought leaders, educators, designers and practitioners from business, international development and social enterprise at Art Center College of Design to address that central issue.

Read a summary of the event on Design Observer.

Continue to



  1. {{}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.


Posting comment...

  • Tara Roth

    This was a fabulous event exploring design's role in social impact. The panel I participated in covered trends in the social capital markets. To that end, we had a venture capitalist, systemic financier in the public markets, and an entrepreneur join my panel conversation. We also explored how design interacts with social market failures and opportunities. Specifically, design helps us respond to these opportunities by communicating mission, vision, story and desired behavior change in a compelling, engaging way accessible to many. LEAP provided a unique forum for exploring design via a social impact lens - very cool!

    • Andrew Shea

      Hi Tara,
      I really loved your panel. It was an important one and I wish I had more space to elaborate on each of your points. Looking forward to the LEAP book coming out next year!

  • kanyi maqubela

    I loved participating in this event, and think designing for social change is a fascinating topic. A couple of things that jumped out at me: the word "designer" seems to be a political one in a way that's interesting to me. who is and isn't a designer (to say nothing of social 'designer') haunts many creative problem solvers, and it was an important point of conversation. Another - the community of people who are interested in working on social problems, on using their technical skills to solve for a better world, is growing fast and there is so much opportunity for these people to find homes in new institutions. Organizations like GOOD paved the way, and there are more and more roads developing by the minute.

  • Liz Dwyer

    The observations from day one-- "Most members identified the need to create new educational curriculum that prepares designers to tackle a wider range of needs though some questioned whether design programs are responding to a demand for social designers or if they are merely creating supply? Others highlighted the importance of creating more transparency around the design process in order to better educate the public about the value designers provide organizations," --really resonate with me. I find so many students in K-12 education don't know what a designer does or what the design process actually looks like--they may be designing and don't even know it. Also, I'm sure you have seen it, but just in case you haven't, this Design Thinking for Educators toolkit might be a helpful resource for you all:

    • Andrew Shea

      Hi Liz,
      Yeah, that was an interesting discussion in the first session. The first point speaks to our responsibility as educators to empower designers with the kinds of skills and training that can help them become entrepreneurs. The second point highlights the open-source trend that I'm happy to see growing. And I LOVE that Design Thinking toolkit. Thanks for sharing here.

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    just read the overview. seems like a really splendid event. were you involved in organizing?

    • Andrew Shea

      Hi Ben,
      No, designmatters Art Center for Design organized it. I participated in some groups and wrote the piece for Design Observer. It was a unique role to play since I had the chance to jump into groups midway through their session to see what they were discussing and then take a macro view of the experience as well. I think we'll look back at this event as a game changer for design education and I can't wait for the book to come out.

  • Andrew Shea

    Yeah Alessandra, getting people from various backgrounds together seemed to fuel discussions. It was really fun to be part of. There was no one thing that stands out as the most eye opening, though seeing so many people dedicated to meaningfully expanding the role and influence of designers was really encouraging. And there are LOTS of outcomes we can expect from LEAP, especially in the form of knowledge sharing, all of which will be covered in the book that will be produced by the designmatters program at Art Center College early 2014. I'm looking forward to that.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I think it's awesome that you brought so many different people together to learn from one another. What do you think was the most eye-opening thing that happened at the event?