Thursday, March 31, 2011

IDEO.org & its Fellowship Program :: Apps due April 18

Really excited about IDEO.org - launching this fall - and their new Fellows Program! REALLY EXCITED!


IDEO.org will be working with nonprofits and government clients. More info about it and the Fellows Program in an excerpt from this March 7 piece Announcing IDEO.org: Addressing Poverty through Human-Centered Design:

Core77: What is IDEO.org and what do you hope to accomplish through this new direction?

Patrice Martin: IDEO.org is a breakthrough scalable model which allows philanthropic support to spread human-centered design and improve the lives of low income communities across the globe. We want to do this in three ways, when we think about our impact. First, dedicated design teams will work on design projects with nonprofit social enterprises and foundations on their pressing challenges related to poverty. The focus areas will likely be in agriculture, water, sanitation, gender, equity, financial services and health-related challenges.

The second is our commitment to fellows and using the fellowship program as a way to spread human-centered design. The residents who form the design team are a part of the fellowship program and will be senior designers from within IDEO that come to IDEO.org for an 11-month period as well as designers from outside of IDEO who will apply to be part of the program, with the intent that they will take that human-centered design process and the experience in working across these types of problems into their future careers.

The third is an emphasis on spreading human-centered design and looking at opportunities around knowledge sharing. This includes sharing our insights, our opportunities and our concept across the project work we're doing with our partner organizations, and looking at opportunities around new tools, such as social networking and open innovation platforms.


Core77: Hopefully it'll be up to the design community or the design commentator community to seed this. To go back to the way that I began the interview, asking about spreading things virally or having freeware, that ultimately if you're a nonprofit, whether you're personally involved in social good or you've simply seeded social good to others through your business model it's a win-win.

Patrice Martin: Thinking about the role of IDEO.org exposing the fact that designers are really hungry to be able to get in there and work this way, thinking about what does design mean, in terms of how inclusive we are when we talk about human-centered design, we're talking about it for all lives.

Jocelyn Wyatt: We hope that IDEO.org will be an organization that allows more designers to work directly on these types of challenges both through the fellowship program that we're launching, as well as through opportunities to work with us on other design projects. If we're able to really have this focus in terms of running human-centered design through the social sector that's going to provide more demands for designers, period, allowing more and more opportunities for designers who want to focus on these challenges to be able to engage in applying their skills to these questions related to poverty alleviation.


More info on the 11 month-long Fellows Program here. The first fellowship class will run from Sept. 6, 2011, to July 13, 2012. Fellows will live in San Francisco and will be paid a living stipend. Apps are due April 18.

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