Impact! Design for Social Change

July 6 – August 14, 2015


Launched in 2010, Impact! Design for Social Change is a six-week summer intensive studio experience exploring the many roles creative professionals can play when executing socially-minded work. Impact! is hands-on, with both self-generated social entrepreneurship and collaborative community partnerships in New York City. The program runs on two parallel yet related modules.


Module 1

The Big Idea will focus on social entrepreneurship and educate participants on how to conceive, develop, fund and execute their own socially-minded project, program or social-enterprise. At the end of the workshop, each participant will have a developed concept with clear steps for implementation if they choose to do so.


Module 2

The Team Project brings participants together as small teams focused on economic and community development for a New York City non-profit. Working collaboratively, team members will learn to understand and address community needs while navigating complex social, political and cultural factors. This module is in collaboration with the New York City Department of Small Business Services.


Lectures and Fieldtrips

During the course of the program, a series of lectures featuring leaders in the areas of design and social change will be presented. This is a rare opportunity to engage with innovators in the field in an intimate and conversational atmosphere. In addition, a number of field trips will be arranged to take students to meet with a range of influential designers, business leaders and social entrepreneurs in action.


Impact! is rigorous and at a level on par with graduate studies. Along with the support of an experienced faculty, participants connect with a wide range of tools to develop meaningful social impact. Weekly lectures and field trips introduce students to a dynamic range of industry innovators.

Social innovation is a rapidly evolving area of design. This program will instill in participants the confidence, self-motivation and collaborative spirit that will be needed as they continue on in the field of design activism.

The program is oriented towards the creative professions. Professionals, educators, advanced college students and social entrepreneurs interested in design thinking are invited to apply.