An online resource for designing a better world.

Join Us for a New Series on ‘Pathways to Practice’

July 7, 2015

As socially-engaged design continues to gain momentum around the world, one crucial question remains unanswered. Our team here at Impact Design Hub has witnessed first hand the immense energy and excitement from people seeking to apply their design skills towards critical social and environmental issues, not only on individual projects, but as a lifelong career. From Link Festival in Melbourne, Australia to Structures for Inclusion in Detroit, USA to Clean Conscience Dirty Hands in Glasgow, Scotland to What Design Can Do! in Amsterdam, Netherlands, designers are gathering together to discover the ins and outs of becoming fully-fledged practitioners.

Impact design conferences, courses, volunteer activities and local events provide the first inroads for people to learn more about the field. But these activities merely whet the appetite. The crucial question that remains unanswered for those who want to build on these activities is, “How can I turn this into a career?” This question is one that our team at Impact Design Hub is continually seeking to help answer.

Luckily for all of us, there are plenty of distinguished and emerging leaders who have created their own inroads–and they are willing to share their journeys to help inspire you and give you the tools to do the same. Over the next two months we’ll share our knowledge and the knowledge of successful practitioners in the field in our new feature series, ‘Pathways to Practice.’

The series will feature eight articles that shed light on how practitioners created their paths, what they learned along the way, and how to create your own unique path. Leaders from IDEO.org, Proximity Designs, and Biolite will share their unique approaches to growing and adapting their organizations for new markets. New Loeb Fellowship Director John Peterson and Metropolis Editor-in-Chief Susan Szenasy will provide insights about careers in this field and a host of opportunities for designers to get more involved. Young South American designers who are creating new roles will share their learnings, and the research group Proactive Practices will publish a collection of graphics visualizing the diversity of business models in impact design.

This collection of essays, interviews, and practical tools is meant to help you craft your own career in impact design. As our Assistant Editor Gilad Meron recently wrote, “There are very few clear paths to follow, which means you’ll likely have to create a job for yourself, or at least create the inroads to one.”

Tomorrow we will post the first article with IDEO.org’s Patrice Martin on what they’ve learned through their popular fellowship program and how they are using online teaching to support more people launch careers around human-centered design. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive all the articles straight to your inbox.

We’d love to hear about your pathway into impact design! What was your inroad? What do you struggle with most? Tell us in the comments below!

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