Recap of Panel: Designing for Youth Impact

originally posted on iiD’s blog.

On June 7th at our SF Design Week event we were captivated by the discussion and presentations made by panelists from Adobe, Futures Without Violence, CCA, Peace First and Elefint.

With only 1% of media representations of young people being positive, the panel showed a completely different outlook of young people today making a difference in the U.S. and abroad. One really interesting point that came up was that the words “social impact” are actually an adult construct and that young people today blend causes into what they’re passionate about in an organic way.

Here’s a quick recap of each panelist’s presentation

  • Raul Caceres from Peace First talked about his work with UN ChildFund helping a poor village in Laos where children have limited water to drink. They asked for help through the community site they built and collaboratively designed and built “fog collectors” to capture drinking water. Here’s a video about the project.
  • Shalini Agrawal from CCA told us about her experience with Architreasures working with school children to design gardens at public schools in San Francisco. The students collaborated as project members to come up with garden designs that fit their needs. It was great to hear about non-digital projects that fully engage young people.
  • Michelle Posadas from Adobe’s Project 1324 told us about their community of emerging artists who are a force for positive impact. They support, connect, and amplify their creativity. Here’s a Project 1324 video.
  • Eleanor Davis of Futures Without Violence talked about how their initiative That’s Not Cool and their Respect Effect app deals with issues of digital abuse and dating violence. It was interesting to hear about their youth workshops to collaborate with students to come up with the digital platforms that resonate with them.
  • Gopika Prabhu of Elefint Design shared a video of their compelling nonprofit + designer retreat/workshop in which they pair nonprofits with designers in design sprints to come up withpro-bono solutions for the nonprofits to walk away with.
  • Also, attendee Alex Medina of YTH told us about the very recent launch of, which raises questions about young people’s attitudes about privacy as seen in digital and social media. The campaign is based on research that YTH did and the site is driven by a video contest to get young people to use storytelling to explore privacy.

Here’s an interesting point that Adobe’s Michelle Posadas made about young people’s attitude towards social impact:

We’d love to continue the conversation going at future events at iiD or elsewhere. A warm thank you to our panelists who were generous with their time and stories. And we appreciate all the attendees who made the trek to North Beach and added to the discussion and excitement.

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