Students changing the lives of the world's poor

Application Due Nov 16

A paradigm shift has begun.

Designers and engineers have tired of making products that only serve a tiny fraction of the world's population. Businesspeople are working to leverage the power of business models to do good in the world. Philanthropists are looking for ways make charity more sustainable. And social entrepreneurs all over the globe are experimenting with innovative ways to do their job better.

When we bring these people together, exciting things happen.

Lots of individuals want to help the poor, but we believe that problems like poverty, disease, and hunger are so big and complicated that no single kind of person has all the necessary tools. The really innovative solutions are discovered-and implemented-through radical collaboration between diverse individuals from different backgrounds, disciplines, and cultures. We help these innovators rally around a common design process, appreciate cultural contexts, develop deep empathy, prototype and iterate ideas rapidly, and sometimes reframe the problem entirely. It's not long before unexpected ideas begin to take shape.

What's our mission? To treat the poor as customers, not as charity recipients.

We believe in listening to the needs the poor, not assuming we know best. We believe in products and services designed for specific cultural contexts, not just Western hand-me-downs. And we believe that careful attention to design can create innovative-and extremely affordable-solutions to the problems of the world's poor.

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