Replay: Commitment Required – The Social Design Job Market

March 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

Last night’s panel about the semi-ambiguous industry of social design, hosted by SVA’s 6-week summer intensive “Impact! Design for Social Change,” was appropriately titled “Commitment Required.” The panelists included:

  • Martin Kace, founder of many things, including Empax, an impact-based communications design consultancy
  • David Gibson, a major player in the field of public information design and the co-founder and managing principal of Two Twelve
  • Jason Rzepka, the VP of public affairs at MTV (including their “pro-social” programs) and one of the best panelists I’ve ever seen/heard at a social impact event
  • Lara Galinsky, the SVP of Echoing Green, one of the leading incubators for social change start-ups

The panel went something like this:

In the 1960’s, there was much social unrest, and therefore a lot of creative energy put into social change. We are currently experiencing this type of unrest again, so it’s no surprise that many people (especially young people) are moving towards jobs and careers that will create positive social impact.

Unfortunately, many impact-oriented organizations lack well-designed communication systems; and this likely weakens their impact! The organizations that do have well-designed materials generally only have them because of a few passionate and committed people.

Beyond being passionate and committed, anyone aspiring to be a successful socially-minded designer needs to have a range of talents. The best problem solvers are the ones with multiple well-developed perspectives.

The good news is that if you do decide to jump into the field, and especially if you decide to start your own business for social change, you’ll be greeted by a supportive and energetic community.

March 2’s daily design idea is me paraphrasing Galinsky: designing simple, high impact solutions requires empathy, patience, and commitment.

More coverage on Twitter with #impactdesign


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GOOD’s 30-Day Challenge for March: Art Every Day. For all the other stressed out, color-loving folks out there.

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