Employing Design for Positive Social Impact: Introducing “Made Good” on Sept. 26th

At AIGA Raleigh, the mission of our chapter is to create a place where designing thrives. This is a mission we pursue by thinking about what our community of design professionals need in order to be successful, and then by working to provide the resources that will help them thrive.

From there, we on the board of AIGA Raleigh often ask: What can an empowered, engaged, and motivated design professional accomplish when their unique problem-solving skills are applied to improving the wider community in which they live?

An increasingly popular answer is that design professionals can sustain the implementation of design thinking for social change to benefit their world, country, and community. In the almost 50 years since the debate began on our profession’s priorities, the question of value-free design seems settled to me: two AIGA national initiatives, Design for Good and The Living Principals, are major rallying efforts that aim to empower design practitioners to take on the work of socially responsible design, and they have generated more excitement and interest from our members than any other AIGA initiatives I’ve seen.

Here in North Carolina, three years after transforming AIGA Raleigh into a grassroots organization, our board has decided the time is right to begin our next major endeavor worth pursuing—we are very proud to present Made Good, a one-night-only special event designed to foster a public conversation about bringing socially responsible design practice into our communities, workplaces, processes, and among our peers.

Thursday, September 26th at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, three successful entrepreneurs who have all done amazing design work with real social impact will join us for presentations, a panel discussion, and a Q&A session with the audience—all to provide inspiration, practical advice, and conversation on bringing a socially responsible focus to your professional practice. Made Good will feature Chicago’s Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design and the Firebelly Foundation talking about how to take action in your workplace; AIGA Atlanta Fellow Doug Grimmett of Primal Screen and Good Thinking Atlanta will talk about taking action in your community, and Raleigh’s own Aly Khalifa of Gamil Design, designbox, SPARKcon, and Lyf Shoes will talk about taking action in your process.

We will also be honoring Aly Khalifa at this event as the third-ever Fellow of AIGA Raleigh in recognition of his catalytic role as a design leader, entrepreneur, and social pioneer in North Carolina’s design community.

As a way to keep the conversation going, we’re also hosting four follow-up Made Good: Take Action events in October, and all attendees to Made Good on the 26th will be able to attend these working sessions at no additional charge.

If you have any interest in the role of designers and design process as a way to create social change, if you’re a design professional who wants to use your talents to make a powerful difference, or if you’d like to join us in honoring Aly for his groundbreaking work in North Carolina, you won’t want to miss this event featuring these three amazing design leaders.

Join us at Made Good for the beginning of the next era of AIGA Raleigh, and learn how you can be a change-maker for positive social impact.

By Joe Schram
Published September 15, 2013