Design for Social Innovation: Case Studies from Around the World


Roundtable contributors

Geographies of Power
Fatou Wurie, Ahmed Ansari and Shana Agid, moderated by Mariana Amatullo

Trajectories of International Development
Ayah Younis, Sarah Fathallah and Robert Fabricant, moderated by Isabella Gady and Jenny Liu

Organizing the Work
Alexandra Fiorillo, Christian Bason and Tessy Britton, moderated by Bryan Boyer

Navigating Partnerships
Fumiko Ichikawa, Jesper Christiansen, Vivek Chondagar and Nandana Chakraborty, moderated by Jennifer May

Mediums of Change
Ramia Mazé, Jan Chipchase and Debbie Aung Din, moderated by Bryan Boyer

Measuring Impact
Joyce Yee, Chris Larkin and Stuart Candy, moderated by Mariana Amatullo

Positioning for Growth
Gabriella Gómez-Mont, Indy Johar and Panthea Lee, moderated by Andrew Shea

Case Study Contributors

CARE USA Innovation Team and CARE Burundi Task Force (Project: Nawe Nuze Innovation Hub)
UNICEF Office of Innovation (Project: Redesigning U-Report)
Nairobi Design Institute (Project: Game-Based Menstrual Hygiene Education)
Ivan Leroy Brown and Angus Donald Campbell (Project: Beegin)
Pink Dot SG (Project: Pink Dot SG)
Wei Xingyu, Gao Qing, Lin Mucun, Guo Xi and Zhou Zishu (Project: Digua Community)
Airbel Impact Lab (Project: Mahali Lab)
Agirre Lehendakaria Center (Project: Yala Food Market)
Studio TEKTAO & College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University (Project: Design Harvests)
Tata Consultancy Services Foundation (Project: Digital Impact Square)
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Directorate of Urban Design and Aesthetics (Project: Izmirsea)
Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality (Project: The Nest)
Re:public Inc (Project: X-School)
Proximity Designs and Studio D Radiodurans (Project: Paddy to Plate)
The Care Lab (Project: Hospitable Hospice)
Kota Kita Foundation (Project: Solo Koto Kita)
g0v (Project: g0v Civic Tech Community)
Purpose PBC (Project: Help Delhi Breathe)
Designist (Project: Pakistan Sign Language)
Wonderwerk Consulting (Project: Paths to Inclusion Vienna)
Policy Lab, UK Government (Project: Involved)
Danish Design Centre (Project: Boxing Future Health)
Fondazione Housing Sociale (Project: Community Housing Start Up Process)
studioetcetera, Berlin (Project: Thüringer Church Hostels)
Participatory City Foundation (Project: Every One Every Day)
UN Women Kosovo Office and UN Habitat (Project: Right2CityforAll)
La 27e Région (Project: La Transfo)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Project: The Future Is Now)
Inland Design (Project: Kamu Chatbot)
D4D Lab with University of Florida Graphic Design (Project: El Calendario del Mundo Wixárika)
Edmonton Shift Lab (Project: Edmonton Shift Lab Collective 1.0)
Creative Reaction Lab (Project: Equity by Design Immersive Workshop)
Perpendicular–Social Innovation Lab (Project: Mapeo Digital)
Spiro Wave, LLC (Project: Spiro Wave)
Isla Urbana (Project: City of Rain)
Limestone District School Board (Project: Throwing Car Culture Under Bus)
Craig Walker Design + Innovation (Project: Australia Post Neighbourhood Welcome Program)
GRID Impact (Project: Financial Literacy for Ecuadorian Microentrepreneurs)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Project: MAFA)
GNova (Project: Brazilian Government Supplier Registration System)
Feeling (Project: Acciones de Paz)
YLabs (Project: Beyond Bias)
Dalberg Design (Project: The Human Account) (Project: Kuja Kuja)
Reboot (Project: Civil Society Innovation Hubs)

Editorial Team


Mariana Amatullo, PhD, is the Academic Dean and Vice Provost of Continuing and Professional Education and an Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design; she is an affiliated faculty member with the Parsons DESIS Lab and the university’s Graduate Minor in Civic Service Design and serves as the Vice Provost for Global Executive Education and Online Strategic Initiatives at The New School, New York. Previously, Mariana co-founded and led the award-winning social innovation department, Designmatters, at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. Mariana’s academic research and publishing bridge the design and management fields and examine the role of a design attitude as a cognitive approach to social innovation and organizational learning. Her editorial projects include LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation as lead editor and the open-source LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide. A Global Fellow with the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) and Salzburg Global, Mariana is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Inaugural DELL Award for Outstanding Social Innovation Education (2012). Mariana lectures internationally about design and social innovation and serves on several juries and executive and advisory boards, including the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics. Mariana is Honorary President of Cumulus, the Global Association of Design Education and Research. Mariana holds a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris, where she also studied Art History at L’Ecole du Louvre. A native of Argentina and the child of a diplomat, Mariana grew up around the world.

Bryan Boyer is co-founder of the architecture and strategic design studio Dash Marshall where he runs the studio’s strategic design practice, working with clients such as Google, Sidewalk Labs, IKEA, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Museum of Modern Art to envision future cities and urban experiences. The studio was named a Next Progressive studio by Architect Magazine (2020) and Top 50 firms by AN Interior magazine (2020). In addition to practice, Bryan is a founding Director of the Bachelor of Science in Urban Technology degree at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Assistant Professor of Practice in Architecture. He joined the University as an Eliel Saarinen visiting professor 2019-2020. Previously, Boyer was a co-founder of Helsinki Design Lab at the Finnish Innovation Fund, one of the first design teams working at a national level inside government. His editorial projects include LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation (2016), Brickstarter (2013), Helsinki Street Eats (2012), Legible Practices (2013), and In Studio: Recipes For Systemic Change (2011). Bryan serves on the board of directors for Public Policy Lab in New York City and is based in Detroit, MI. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jennifer May finds innovation at the intersections of design, art, education, and social change. Jennifer is currently the Executive Director for Designmatters, the social innovation department at ArtCenter College of Design, where she oversees a dynamic portfolio of external partnerships, curricular and extracurricular programs, including the Designmatters Minor in Social Innovation, and an active slate of special initiatives and publications exploring how design and art can effect change in the areas of sustainable development, social entrepreneurship, health, public policy, and social justice. She serves on the advisory committee for ShineLA, a cross-sector initiative led by Cedars-Sinai Research Center for Health Equity, focusing on raising physical activity levels among Angelenos over the next ten years. Jennifer was Managing Editor of LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation, an award-winning publication on new practices in social innovation, and editor of the open-source LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide. She was named an Impact Maker to Watch in Los Angeles in 2020 and was part of the inaugural LEAD LA cohort for Coro Southern California. Jennifer earned her M.B.A. with honors from USC Marshall School of Business, where she was a Society and Business Lab Graduate Fellow and Forté Fellow.

Andrew Shea founded and is the creative director of MANY Design, a studio that designs strategies and artifacts that support progressive social agendas, sustainable economic endeavors, and the environment. MANY’s work has been featured by Fast Company, Slate, Print, How, 99% Invisible, Communication Arts, and AIGA, among others. Andrew is Associate Director and Assistant Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design, The New School. He has also taught at Pratt Institute, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the City University of New York. Andrew was an editor of LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation (2016), and he authored Designing for Social Change: Strategies for Community-Based Graphic Design (2012). His design writing has also appeared in Core77, AIGA, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Design Observer, who included one of his essays in Culture Is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer (2018). Andrew regularly speaks about design at schools, conferences, and events like TEDx Transmedia. He has served on juries organized by AIGA, Worldstudio, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and Sappi. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics & Philosophy and Creative Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Editors

Isabella Gady is a Design Strategist, Researcher, and Public Policy Practitioner. She has worked locally, nationally, and internationally co-creating organizational change and innovation processes, leading program and service development, and facilitating multi-stakeholder engagement and participatory strategies. Fueled by the desire to imagine better futures for all, she fuses elements from many disciplines with design - combining research, organizational development, and strategy. Her methods draw from anthropology, the behavioral sciences, and psychology to bring new solutions and ways of working to complex public sector challenges. Isabella has worked with organizations including the United Nations, UN Women, the City of New York,, 3x3 Design, Snowcone and Haystack, and Spark Microgrant. She co-founded the New York Digital Diplomacy Chapter and served as Spokeswoman and Special Advisor for International Development at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. Isabella holds an MS in Strategic Design from Parsons School of Design in New York and an MA (Magistra FH) in Economic Sciences from the University of Applied Sciences St. Poelten, Austria. She is a published author and researcher investigating public sector innovation, a part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design, and an accredited Coach.

Jenny Liu is a design researcher who combines participatory ethnography, behavioral science, prototyping, and storytelling in her practice. Her work advocates for greater inclusion of underrepresented voices, from warehouse employees to family caregivers to low-income senior Americans, to nudge complex systems to be more caring and equity-centered. Her clinical and behavioral research origins inform her critical and analytical stance to developing innovative and evidence-based products, services, and programs. She has worked on projects with non-profits, consulting firms, and technology companies, such as Dalberg Design and the International Rescue Committee, in sectors ranging from financial inclusion to public health. She has been part of project teams that have received recognition from Fast Company, MIT Media Lab, and Massachusetts General Hospital. She has an MFA in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design and a BA in Neuroscience and Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Editorial Assistants
Vasuta Kalra, Editorial Data Assistant
Andrea Noble, Editorial Case Study Assistant
Jennifer Noinaj, Editorial Research Assistant
Nidhi Singh Rathore, Editorial Research Assistant
Mohammad Sial, Editorial Image Assistant
Stephanie Soussloff, Editorial Research Assistant


Ahmed Ansari, PhD
Director, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor in Integrated Digital Media in the Department of Technology, Culture & Society
New York University

Christian Bason, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Danish Design Centre

Andrea Botero, PhD
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
University of Oulu

Jesper Christiansen, PhD
Head of Strategy and Development
Nesta Innovation Skills

Chris Ferguson
Chief Executive Officer

Fumiko Ichikawa
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Re:public Inc.

Gabriella Gómez-Mont
Founder and Principal

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, PhD
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Celia Romaniuk
Managing Director
Fjord Nordics

Mariana Salgado, PhD
Design and Research Lead
Finnish Immigration Service

Srini R. Srinivasan
Chairman & CEO

Joyce Yee, PhD
Northumbria School of Design

Lou Yongqi, PhD
Dean of the College of Design and Innovation
Tongji University

Jan Christoph Zoels
Co-Founder, Creative Director, & Senior Partner


Book Design
TwoPoints.Net, Hamburg, Berlin, Barcelona

Website Design
Brendan Griffiths and Yifu Zhang