AIGA Seattle launched the Changemaker Series in 2015 to spark community change using human-centered design. The Series has united Seattle-area nonprofits with creative professionals to solve design problems in such service areas as food access and insecurity, homelessness, immigrants and refugees, youth, environmental conservation, and mental health.
Now at our seven-year mark, the Changemaker Series is returning to the empathy phase of design. Our focus this year will be to evaluate how the Series is meeting community needs and examine how we may better champion inclusivity and equity in all facets of the program. This work will leverage the Equity-Centered Community Design framework developed by Creative Reaction Lab.
Reenvisioning a program is going to be messy, ambiguous, rewarding, and fun. We want to invite new voices to our team to achieve fuller representation of the community we aim to serve. Join us as we create a shared understanding of equitable design frameworks, and improve our understanding of Seattle area nonprofits and program participants’ needs.
In 2015, AIGA Seattle hosted a series of design thinking workshops to educate creative professionals and local nonprofit organizations to spark community innovation. This became the Changemaker Series. In that inaugural year, we united eight social change organizations with over forty volunteer team members to address local food challenges.
We developed a design thinking curriculum and program for the second year, and selected 34 volunteer creatives from nearly 200 applicants to join six teams working with organizations to address challenges for homeless individuals. In the years since, we have partnered creative professionals with local organizations serving immigrants and refugees, youth, environmental conservation causes, and mental health.
Project teams provided user experience research, new visual identities and branding materials, updated web designs, workflow applications, social media campaigns and more. Causes, projects, and organizations have included: streamlining processes for DESC’s in-kind donations with tools and reporting; increasing readership among millennials for Real Change; helping Encompass better reach parents with parenting education through a podcast, and more. You can check out the Changemaker Series 2020 Showcase and projects here.
"What sort of impact do we expect, now that we’ve organized this project and are two weeks away from launching it? The Union Gospel Mission has about 50,000 supporters in Greater Seattle, and their goal is to convert about 10% of those to using the app or the service once per month…and if these people paid on average $5 for that buy-one-feed-one dish. We’re talking about $25,000 in new revenue for the Mission to feed those in need. That would feed an additional 10,000 people."
Jonathan Kumar, Managing Director of FoodCircles
"Working with the Changemaker series and all of the creatives changed the way we think as a 'youth-serving' organization, specifically around the approach to solving our most pressing problems. Often in nonprofits, capacity constrains our ability and the time it takes to solve complex issues. We might be able to perform a quick fix or react as issues arise but it is difficult to find long term solutions.
Being exposed to Human Centered Design and a group of incredibly dedicated and talented Changemakers helped us create a thoughtful strategy to recruit youth into our program. Our messaging and promotional recruitment materials were not very clear on what Juma is as a transitional job program for youth. Because of that we were not hitting our numbers and many youth that did apply were not really sure what they were signing up for. Our team listened, led with empathy, and took these questions to our stakeholders, staff and youth clients. In the end, the youth themselves were a major part of creating a solution.
We could not be more excited to have a new toolkit of recruitment marketing materials that are youth focused, beautifully designed, and have crystal clear messaging. It was worth every second of our time and energy and something that will have a lasting impact on Juma and our work for years to come."
Mason Moore, Executive Director, Juma Seattle
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