When a Northside couple, Ramsey Ford and Kate Hanisian, started Design Impact
, they wanted to create a social design company that creates lasting change in low-income communities around the world.
As they investigated existing social design companies, Hanisian and Ford learned that most similar non-profits do their work and then leave communities. They spend short periods of time on the ground and often create solutions that don’t take community needs and cultures into account.
“If you’re designing the next Pantene bottle, our culture is similar enough that a lot of the assumptions made will be correct,” Hanisian says. “When you’re crossing economic and geographic borders, assumptions can be wrong, and it can alienate the community from the process.”
Hanisian and Ford charted a new path for Design Impact
. They wouldn’t arrive in a community with a pre-fabricated plan to “fix” it; instead, they would become a part of the community. By living and working with community members, they would find the best ways to help create deep and lasting change.
The mission began with the couple spending 16 months in India and then sending six fellows into communities around India. Each community will be served in three phases and after six months, Anisha Shankar, has developed her plan to improve health for malnourished children.
The solution is Ladoo, a low-cost snack packed with nutrition. Currently, Design Impact is running a fundraiser on indiegogo.com,
a crowd-sourced fundraising website. The goal is to raise $10,000 to assist in phase two of the fellowship program.
The next fellow will spend 10 months in Pune, India, creating a business plan to help local women create a sustainable business making the Ladoos, while simultaneously helping solve the problem of malnourishment.
The long-term goal is to create a sustainable business model based around the ladoo and expand it exponentially with the goal of helping lower childhood malnourishment not just in Pune, India, but everywhere.
to the indiegogo campaign and help Design Impact raise $10,000.
to Design Impact as a whole organization and help fund other programs.
Design Impact's website and learn about the programs and help spread awareness.
By Evan Wallis