In Spring of 2012, a group of social impact design leaders, along with representatives from governmental, philanthropic, academic, and nonprofit sectors gathered in New York to discuss the state of the field, and brainstorm ways to expand and improve the study and practice of social impact design. The conveners: The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Lemelson Foundation, published this whitepaper to document the discussion, and share insights with the broader field. Major topics included identifying gaps and challenges in the field, cataloging the range of organizational models in operation, cultivating career pathways for future practitioners, and identifying promising solutions for issues identified over the course of the meeting. The convening, and the resulting document presented here, represents a snapshot in time of the ongoing growth and maturation of a community of practice for social impact design.
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, National Endowment for the Arts, The Lemelson Foundation