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DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FSOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DEGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FORCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGNOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DSIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOROCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPADESIGN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FR SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN FOR SOCIALD E AR CO LLE AG U E S ,As people concerned with the need for signifi cant social change, webelieve in the power of design thinking—a human-centered approach toproblem solving and innovation. We know what it takes to be innovative.We’ve seen the amazing solutions that smart people and savvy methodsand tools can yield. As we hear more and more about poverty, climatechange, and diminishing resources worldwide, we can’t help but to thinkabout how we can help effect change.How can we harness the passions and talents of designers in our fi rms toaddress some of the world’s largest problems? How can we continue to dowhat we do best while having a signifi cant positive impact on the world?As Bruce Nussbaum wrote in a Business Week column, “It’s great designthat can solve social as well as economic problems. They (designers) took themethodology of product design and applied it to services. Now they aremoving beyond that to systemizing design methodologies for all kinds ofarenas, including social problems. What better way to deal with the healthcare crisis than to use design?”Designers have always strived to create positive social change and IDEOhas been no different. Our learning journey has taken us a long way andhas brought us in contact with countless inspiring people. We continueto explore new directions and fi nd new ways to apply design thinking.At IDEO, we’ve built initiatives around both design for social impact anddesign for environmental impact. And for us, design for social impact alsoentails creating transformational change in communities. Our focus is onunder served and disadvantaged lower income communities worldwide.We are excited about our increasing involvement in this space and lookforward to working with all of you as we bring human-centered designto bear on some of the world’s largest problems.Best regards,Tim BrownCEO, IDEODESIGN BY : FIDEL CALDERON

CONTENTSDESIGN FORSOCIAL IMPAC TWhat is Design for Social Impact?7Contributors to this Book8DESIGN PRINCIPLESProvide Value12Be Focused20Set Up for Success265 Design Challenges36MODES OF E N GAG E M E NTSummary of Offerings40Modify the Way You Work42Educate Others64Develop Networks78Identify Funding Streams88Modify Your Structure100I N S P I R AT I O NCase Studies110Stay Informed116

INTRODUCTIONWith a new focus area on innovation, The Rockefeller Foundation isexploring new avenues for social change. One promising area is designand how the design industry can play a larger role in the social sector.This How-to Guide and the accompanying Workbook are written fordesign firms that are interested in joining in conversation.The Rockefeller Foundation invited IDEO to conduct this explorationstarting in February 2008. We spent the first two months interviewingpeople involved in social sector work. We had inspiring discussionswith foundations, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, professors, writers,students, designers, and consultants. The conversations examined therole design could play in this sector, how design firms might work withsocial sector organizations, and how we could maximize our impact inthis space. Observations and interviews were conducted in offices, atconferences, and on the phone, and brought the team to Bangalore,Bombay, New York, Oxford, Palo Alto, Pune, San Francisco, and Seattle.HOW TO USE THIS BOOKThis book is intended for design fi rms of anysize or type. Some of the ideas are larger thanany one fi rm would take on alone; others arestraightforward enough that any of us canimplement them immediately.The How-to Guide offers principles of designfor social impact and a menu of offerings fortypes of social impact engagements thatmight make sense for your fi rm.The accompanying workbook consists of a setof exercises to complete alone or to promptdiscussions with your team.When engaging with the workbook, you willbe prompted to undertake a decision-makingprocess that will help you determine whathaving social impact can mean for your fi rm.The consistent message has been YES. Yes, design thinking has a lotto offer, and many of our potential partners are very excited to see usbecome more engaged. The challenge is how. How can design firmsmake social impact work a core part of their business? How can wecollaborate with organizations that are highly resource constrained?How can we redesign our offerings to become more accessible tosocial sector organizations? This initiative is focused on the processaround doing this work, rather than the content of the work itself.We have seen a growing interest on the part of some foundations tofund design and innovation projects for themselves or for their grantees.Our hope is that once we as an industry demonstrate the value of designthinking, corporations and social sector organizations will develop anappetite for funding this work as well.Getting involved in social impact work is a journey and we hope thatthis How-to Guide and the accompanying Workbook can speed theprocess along for all of us.4The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide5

WHAT IS DESIGN FORSOCIAL IMPACT?S O C I A L I M P A C T A S A C O N S I D E R AT I O NSocial impact applies to a broad spectrum of contexts. To designers,it is about the impact of products or services on individuals and groupsof people. We look at the broader impact of all of the design work weundertake. We think about balancing the needs of the individual withthe needs of the overall community. On every design project, we canconsider the triple bottom line and take into account social, environmental,and economic impacts.S O C I A L I M PAC T A S TH E I NTE NTI O NWhile it is extremely important to take into consideration the socialimpact of all projects, the focus of this How-to Guide is on offeringdifferent modes of engagement to partners and clients to build aportfolio of projects that creates positive social change in communities.A S TA R T I N G P O I N T F O R D E S I G N F I R M SWhen starting a social impact initiative, it is advisable to declare aspecifi c intention. Design and innovation can play a large role in manycomplex problems, including education, distribution, water, energy,healthcare, and job training. Design fi rms are able to work in a varietyof different contexts—urban, rural, rich, poor, domestic, and international.Each individual design fi rm must defi ne its own area of focus in orderto develop depth and use resources wisely.At IDEO, after many internal and external conversations, we havedecided to focus our efforts within social impact on projects withorganizations that create transformational change in under servedand disadvantaged communities. These design projects can besponsored by a variety of types of clients in the private, public, andsocial sectors. In selecting partners for this work, the focal point ison the impact that can be created. Likewise, the scope of a projectmust be intentionally tailored to achieve the desired impact.6The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide7

CONTRIBUTORS TOTHIS BOOKDuring the course of this exploration, the team met with a number of peoplewho represent different stakeholder groups on the topic of design for socialimpact. These conversations served as the basis for identifying best practicesas well as words of wisdom for new players coming into this arena. We aregrateful to all of them for sharing their wise input.FUNDERSDESIGN FIRMSAcumen FundAshokaB CorporationDraper Richards FoundationEndeavorThe Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationGood CapitalThe Rockefeller FoundationThe Skoll FoundationThe World BankCelery Design CollaborativeDesign ContinuumDesign DirectionsDesign That MattersDissignoElephantFL!P Designfrog designHuman Factors InternationalIDEOIdiom Design and ConsultingMetaDesignSmart DesignTurner DuckworthzibaIMPLEMENTERSARTIBenetechBetter World Booksd.lightD-RevIDEIndustreeKickstartMedicine ShoppePATHScojo FoundationUnitusC O N S U LT I N G F I R M SBoston Consulting GroupBridgespanCentral Offi ceKatzenbach PartnersMonitor InstituteOn-RampsSocial Enterprise GroupTHINKERSDavid BornsteinDavid GreenGlobal Social Business IncubatorIndustrial Design Centre IITNID BangaloreSrishti School of Art, Design and TechnologyStanford d.SchoolSymbiosis Institute of Design8The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide9

DESIGN PRINCIPLES DPRINCIPLES DESIGN PDESIGN PRINCIPLES DPRINCIPLES DESIGN PDESIGN PRINCIPLES DPRINCIPLES DESIGN PDESIGN PRINCIPLES DPRINCIPLES DESIGN PP R O V I D E VA L U EBE FOCUSEDSET UP FOR SUCCESSDemonstrate the ValueStay on TargetTrain AppropriatelyCause TransformationalChangeConserve EnergyOptimize for ImpactMind the Gap10The Rockefeller FoundationThe design principles on the following pages came from thepeople interviewed for this project. These are the guidingprinciples for working with social sector clients.Know the PlayersDemand Skin inthe GameDesignDesignforforSocialSocialImpact:Impact:A How-to Guide11

PROVIDEVALUE Demonstrate the ValueCause Transformational ChangeMind the Gap12The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide13

P R OV I D E VA L U ED E M O N S T R AT ET H E VA L U EC A U S E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N A LCHANGEDEMONSTRATETHE VALUEMINDTHE GAPDesign thinking can make a big contributionto the social sector, but most of our potentialclients are unfamiliar with what we as designthinking can do. When communicating ourofferings, we must demonstrate the value ofour approach. Because resources in this sectorare so limited, we need to justify the impactof an investment in a design project—is it moreimpactful than spending the money in otherways? As one design firm said, “I felt guiltycharging non-profits for our work; they couldbuy goats instead and save lives.”CONSIDER » Teaching your approach (through workshops)» Raising awareness of design througheducational institutions» Collaborating as an industry and referringopportunities to each other to raise all boats14The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide15

P R OV I D E VA L U ED E M O N S T R AT ET H E VA L U EC A U S E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N A LCHANGECAUSETRANSFORMATIONALCHANGEMINDTHE GAPDesign firms must choose project opportunitiesbased on the potential for real impact. It can bea challenge to choose between the innovationneeds of a single organization (too limited inscale?) with projects that are more broadlytargeted at an entire sector (too generic?).We were warned that “there are two types ofpeople: those who get stuff done, and thosewho talk about it to look good.”CONSIDER » Being smart and selective about your partners» Identifying design-ready organizations that canmake use of your contributions» Measuring impact without burdening partnerswith the collection of metrics that aren’t coreto their goals» Scoping projects with impact in mind andusing something like Acumen Fund’s BACO(Best Alternative Charitable Option) calculation16The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide17

P R OV I D E VA L U ED E M O N S T R AT ET H E VA L U EC A U S E T R A N S F O R M AT I O N A LCHANGEMINDTHE GAPMINDTHE GAPGreat concepts and great vision are notenough to make an impact. Many start-upsand NGOs are extremely resource-constrainedand are unable to follow through on overlyconceptual designs. Designers must recognizethe challenges around implementation anddeliver comprehensive prototypes with clearimplementation plans.CONSIDER » Providing plans that take into considerationthe client’s capabilities» Being strategic about who to engage with and when» Leveraging your network to createimplementation partnerships18The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide19

BEFOCUSEDStay on TargetConserve Energy20The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide21

BE FOCUSEDSTAY ONTARGETS TAY O NTA R G E TCONSERVEENERGYIn our conversations with funders, implementers,and consultants, one piece of advice was offeredagain and again: “be focused.” Every designfirm needs to determine its own particularfocus. Choosing firsthand the intended areasof impact, the desired types of partners, andthe project offerings will increase the likelihoodthat you will work on your dream projects.CONSIDER » Staying true to your core offering» Communicating your focus clearly» Declaring a mission and sticking to it22The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide23

BE FOCUSEDCONSERVEENERGYS TAY O NTA R G E TCONSERVEENERGYThe social sector is a huge space with millionsof large and small players. Because businessdevelopment (BD) costs can be high in proportionto the size of projects, design firms must focustheir efforts. Narrowing your scope will allowyou to develop depth in specific areas whereyou believe you can create the most impact.Many firms have multiple interests and havea hard time limiting their focus. Clarify yourofferings to avoid confusion within your fi rmand with potential clients.CONSIDER » Maintaining focus for BD efforts andemployee time» Saving BD costs by standardizing proposalsand contracts for small projects24The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide25

SET UPFOR SUCCESSTrain AppropriatelyOptimize for ImpactKnow the PlayersDemand Skin in the Game26The Rockefeller FoundationDesign for Social Impact: How-to Guide27