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A Sustainable Design Blog

Lunch & Learn: Intro to Designing for Measurable Social Impact

by | Jun 15, 2018 | EventsStudio NewsSustainability

You know your design makes a difference for a company's bottom line. But what if your design could make a positive impact on the world?

Designing for social impact isn’t about creating pretty artifacts for a good cause or about just selling cool stuff and giving a portion of the proceeds to charity. In its ideal form, designing for social impact is envisioning the impact you want to have for a community or individual, bringing stakeholders into the process, working toward sustainable solutions, measuring the difference you're making, and sharing your results so that positive impact can spread across the world.

In this workshop we’ll introduce you to the Path to Impact™️, AIGA Design for Good’s process and methodology of designing for measurable and sustainable impact—which happens to be co-authored by our Principle and Creative Director, Gage Mitchell. You’ll be introduced to the new Path to Impact workbook, then we’ll walk through the “Envision” section together in an interactive format so you can better understand how a social impact project should be framed from the start. At the end we’ll quickly overview the rest of the steps (“Plan”, “Implement”, “Measure”, and “Share”) so you know how that initial vision comes to life. If you want a copy of the workbook, buy the “Workshop + Workbook” ticket now or bring cash or a credit card to purchase it after the event.


Gage Mitchell is the Principle & Creative Director of Modern Species, a sustainable brand design studio working with mission-based companies to design a better world. In his spare time he’s also serves on the AIGA Design for Good task force (authors of the Path to Impact), and as the AIGA Presidents Council Chair. When he should be sleeping he’s also launching a social impact design collaborative and a charitable giving platform.

Path to Impact Workbook:

If you’re aiming to have a positive impact through design, then the Path to Impact™ will help ensure you’re designing with the community you intend to benefit always in mind, that you stay inclusive in your process, set up a measurable course of action, and consider the consequences of your decisions along the way. Whether you are working alone, in a small group, or aligning with an entire community with a range of stakeholders, this process and workbook help you hit your goals of designing a better world.

Use this methodology for:
• Designing individual projects that aim to have a positive impact
• Leading large scale community enhancement projects
• Teaching strategic, sustainable, and socially responsible design
• Improving your existing workflow to be more inclusive and measurable


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of the drinking class.- Oscar Wilde