Students Seek Impact Design Resources and Opportunities
By: Rachel Dzombak, Ph.D. and Heather Kinlaw Lofthouse, MPP, MPH
Each week, students stop by UC Berkeley’s Blum Center to say: ‘I want to do something meaningful with my life. How do I build a career around impact? How can I use my degree to solve problems that matter?’ Our students are driven by purpose yet they typically don’t know where to begin to look for examples of individuals or organizations working in the design for social impact space. Impact Design Hub provided an invaluable source of inspiration for our students and others like them across the world. The discussions and interviews with practitioners helped demystify career pathways, and the job board pointed students toward practical opportunities for leveraging their skillsets for the greater good.
IDH served as a fantastic forum for exchanging ideas between academics, practitioners, and organization leaders, all in an attempt to democratize the field of impact design and push it to even greater heights. The site offered an important blend of rigorous scholarship and thought-provoking journalism in a way that was highly accessible to millennial students, seasoned entrepreneurs, and those in the general public seeking to learn about impact design. Students responded well to the site’s ability to present a balance of original and curated content, a balance which strategically aligned with IDH’s goal of bridging research and practice.
In an age where most thoughtful people are concerned about doing good throughout their career, and a plethora of websites exist purporting to help them do so, high-quality portals such as IDH are needed and valuable. IDH raised awareness about important areas of work and enabled greater connectivity – intellectual and otherwise – among the diverse constituents that contribute to the burgeoning and important field of impact design.
Rachel researches design for social impact at the Haas School of Business and the Blum Center for Developing Economies, both at UC Berkeley.
Heather serves as Director of Special Projects at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for poverty action and studies.