Can Consumer Product Design Really Drive Systemic Social Change?

A recent Forbes piece by Ashoka’s Michael Zakaras takes product design to task as a source of transformational social change. To provide an antidote to the fashionable fascination with “things” as the answer to all our social ills, the article uses examples like Toms Shoes‘ one-for-one model and the distribution of mosquito nets as evidence that products normally fail to engage with the roots of complex social problems.

View here

Designing for behaviour change: Tip 3

The fourth in a series of seven guest blogs for the RSA aimed at student designers. This one’s about identifying the designing interventions that facilitate, not communicate. Creative Director Tori Flower shares her insights into how to approach designing for behaviour change.

View here

Technology and Behaviour Change

How do these products and services work? Can they really encourage people to ‘be better’ long-term or do you need to change the system and society in other ways? ‘Who’ decides what’s better anyway? And when does behaviour change become coercion or something more controlling?

Tech for Good TV explore this in their latest podcast, featuring our Research and Evaluation Director Kathleen Collett, supported by Bethnal Green Ventures and Nominet Trust.

View here

The Next Frontier for Social Impact Investment

Social Impact Investment is explored by Nick Stanhope.

Successful commercial entrepreneurs have to prioritise building two types of value within their ventures: user value and financial value. The job of creating value for users is hard. It relies on a profound understanding of the intrinsic motivations of the target audience. It requires the time, investment and experience…

View here

Shift’s development process for social ventures

Nick and Tori explain the process that shapes and structures Shift’s work designing social ventures. As part of our three year partnership with the Nominet Trust, we have intended to codify and share this process more explicitly, both for our own benefit and in the hope that other mission-driven designers and social entrepreneurs find it useful.

View here

Three values

On the surface, the language and practices of Silicon Valley and other tech investors have brought the social sector a greater focus on ventures, accelerators, fast-growth innovations, of startups, incubators and investment…

Refining our social innovation model

In April, when we set out on our first year of our research and development partnership with the Nominet Trust, we had in place a pretty robust six stage social innovation model, which we had been evolving and refining over several years of work in behaviour change and product design…