Design Ignites Change: an innovative student program channels the power of design thinking to ignite social change

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Design Ignites Change is a program that encourages talented high school and college students to use the power of design to address social issues in their local communities through substantive public projects.

The response from the education and business communities has been phenomenal

Worldstudio, together with the Adobe Foundation's signature program Adobe Youth Voices, today announced Design Ignites Change, a program that encourages talented high school and college students to use the power of design to address social issues in their local communities through substantive public projects. Students are encouraged to develop projects that will stimulate thought, dialogue, action and ultimately change.

To date, Design Ignites Change has engaged 17 colleges and universities who are now hard at work on responses to such pressing global issues as racism, economic inequality and climate change.

A major component of the initiative is a mentoring program through which college and university students, educators and creative professionals, work with underserved high school students to develop projects that will benefit their own communities, while giving them a voice around important social issues. The program will also serve to introduce these high school students to the creative professions as a career option. A guided option for the mentoring program will result in community billboard campaigns around the theme of tolerance.

"The response from the education and business communities has been phenomenal," said Worldstudio's Andréa Pellegrino. "They see Design Ignites Change as a breakthrough initiative that will bring visibility to innovative solutions addressing a range of social issues."

Advisors to the project include: Marc Alt, Marc Alt and Partners; John Bielenberg, Project M; Elan Cole, Johnson & Johnson; Steven Heller, School of Visual Arts and Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands. Visit http://www.designigniteschange.org/advisors for a complete list of advisors.

The Design Ignites Change website showcases students' process and project results. In the spirit of recognizing meaningful work, projects submitted by December 31, 2009 will be considered for selection in the first annual Design Ignites Change Awards Program.

Design Ignites Change is a joint project developed by Adobe Youth Voices and Worldstudio with support from AIGA, the professional association for design; Citizen Scholar Inc.; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Core 77; Design Observer; Frog Design; Graphic Design USA; Williams and House.

If you represent a school or youth program and would like to find out how to participate, or a corporation or foundation wishing to support the program, please visit: http://www.designigniteschange.org

Additional media material can be found at the Web site.

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Maria Emmighausen

Pam Williams
Williams and House
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