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New IDEO Organization Will Use Design to Address Poverty, Assist Non-Profits

Meet IDEO.org, IDEO’s socially minded kid brother. The global design consultancy announced today that it is gearing up to launch this new organization with an eye to “spreading human-centered design throughout the social sector in order to improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world and focus on challenges related to poverty.” Slated to debut this fall with a bold identity that simultanously evokes rainbows and teamwork, IDEO.org will also partner with fellow orgs (nonprofits and foundations) that have been clamoring for innovative ways to address challenging problems and create tangible impact through design. Problem-solving and tangible impact are specialties of IDEO, which has applied its human-centered, design-based approach to projects ranging from the first laptop computer (see also: co-founder and Cooper-Hewitt President Bill Moggridge) to Ripple Effect, an initiative that improves access to safe drinking water for the world’s poorest people. To help determine which projects IDEO.org tackles, the firm has developed the following criteria:

The place or people benefitting from the project is a low-income community or group; the partner organization is a non-profit, foundation, or social enterprise; and the result of the challenge is tangible—a product, service, business, or system—that will directly benefit the community or people for which it was designed.

Intrigued? Apply here to take part in the IDEO.org fellowship program that will bring together designers from IDEO and people from the design, business, and social sectors.

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