- Other Years
Projects designed to directly benefit social, humanitarian, community or environments. In 2021, we’re also looking for projects that coincide with events of 2020 where impact was needed, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight for racial justice, humanitarian efforts related to climate change or forest fires, and more. Other examples of social impact work include: community or environmental impact initiatives, products for underrepresented communities, distribution systems, disaster relief, etc.
For thirty years, John Thackara has traveled the world in his search of stories about the practical steps taken by communities to realize a sustainable future. He writes about these stories online and in books; he uses them in talks for cities and business; he also organizes festivals and events that bring the subjects of these stories together.John is the author of a widely-read blog atdesignobserver.comand of the best-sellingIn the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press) û also translated into nine languages. As director ofdoorsofperception.com, John organizes conferences and festivals in which social innovators share knowledge.John is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, in London, and a Fellow of The Young Foundation, the UK's social enterprise incubator. He sits on the advisory boards of the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, the Future Perfect festival in Sweden, and Design Impact in India. He is also a member of the UK Parliament's Standing Commission on Design.Earlier, John edited the magazine Design for five years, and was later Modern Culture Editor of Harpers & Queen, and design correspondent of The Guardian. He then started a conference and exhibition company ,with offices in London and Tokyo, which created and organised events at the Pompidou Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and other venues. From 1989-1992, John was Director of Research at the Royal College of Art.Among John's 12 books are Design After Modernism: Beyond the Object (1987) andLost in Space: A Traveller's tale (1995). He has lectured in more than forty countries.
Babitha George is a Partner at Quicksand and leads multiple innovation projects within Quicksand. Her prior work in education in India prompted her to actively think about the role of design thinking in social impact contexts, leading her to steer several of Quicksand's social innovation projects, especially in the use of technology in education and vocational training contexts, to improve learning outcomes and create more engaging & transformational learning environments. She is a management graduate from IIM Ahmedabad, prior to which she studied English, Journalism & Psychology and with this background, Babitha believes strongly in the strength of multi-disciplinary approaches. Her core skills are in design strategy and research as it pertains to conceptualizing products and services that promote sustainability and quality of life, especially for low income communities.Babitha is one of the co-founders of the UnBox Festival. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Victor Papanek Foundation and was recently featured in the British Council's 'Blurring the Lines' exhibition in London, as one of sixteen people from around the world who are reinventing creative exploration and participation in their respective communities.
Dr Mathilda Tham's work sits in a positive, activist space between design, futures studies and sustainability. Her research explores how design can intervene at the level of paradigms to support futures of sustainability. She uses design research as activism by staging and facilitating participatory and interdisciplinary workshops for critical and creative envisioning. Mathilda's current research themes include metadesign, post-growth fashion, peace, and gender.As Professor in Design, Linnaeus University, Sweden, she leads the development of a new research platform Curious Design Change. She is a member of the board of Mistra (The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Sweden). Mathilda Tham is a metadesign researcher, co-convenor of MA Design Futures and Metadesign, and PhD supervisor at Goldsmiths, University of London. Mathilda's latest publication Routledge Handbook for Sustainability and Fashion, co-edited with Kate Fletcher, is now out.
Gill has pioneered the use of design in strategy and innovation for 20 years. She was educated as a designer at Manchester Metropolitan University; has an MA in Design Innovation and Strategy from Brunel University; and recently held Carnegie Mellon School of Design's Nierenberg Chair for 2 years.Her early career was as a researcher and developer of public services in play, youth and social action contexts. This used a people-centered practice of connecting local needs, networks and agencies called the community development approach.She created the design strategy agency Plot in 2004 after four years as a Design Manager at the UK Design Council. Plot has provided innovation labs, workshops and consultancy for a wide variety of public, private and third sector clients at different stages of their lifecycle.Right now, Gill's attention is focused on Upstarter the nomadic design-led incubator she has founded. It's mission is to stimulate embryonic enterprises using strategic design thinking, innovation and design methods. The Upstarter programme is active with partners in London, Bristol and Barcelona, and helps bring a mix of social, commercial and creative industry startups to life.