Aug 11, 2011

Design for Good: Join Us at SOCAP11

Sarah Brooks's picture
Sarah Brooks
Director, Social Innovation

Several years back, I was doing a lot of volunteering here in San Francisco, specifically organizing Meetups that explored the use of technology for social change. At one of those meetings somebody said to me, “You’re going to SOCAP, right?” And I said, “What is that?”

I went home and did some Googling. I found that the SOCAP, or Social Capital Markets conference, is rather unique and special. Established in 2008, the conference is the largest of its kind, bringing together roughly 1,400 social entrepreneurs, philanthropic funders, and impact investors dedicated to increasing the “flow of capital toward social good and exploring the intersection of money and meaning.”

SOCAP’s mission immediately spoke to me. After having worked in both grassroots activist campaigns and strictly for-profit enterprises, the SOCAP community was exactly what I was looking for—a middle ground between non-profit and strictly for-profit enterprises—mission-based enterprises with an explicit goal of solving complex problems through market-based solutions.

In 2009, my first year working with SOCAP, I helped create a media strategy to capture and distribute video highlights from the conference. Last year, I was able to bring in streaming video coverage of the keynote presentations, which nearly 20,000 people tuned into. It has been thrilling to deepen my involvement and enrich my connection to the social entrepreneurship community.

This year, I’m proud to be leading the Design for Social Innovation track at SOCAP11, which will take place September 6-9 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Hot Studio will also be a media sponsor for SOCAP11, and other members of Hot will be on hand throughout the conference engaging attendees in hands-on consulting at our exhibitor table. Come by and talk with us!

The Design for Social Innovation track follows the trajectory of the design process through its major phases. We’ll be unpacking each step of the process with case studies, examples, interactive exercises, and conversations with the session leaders and participants. Each of the track’s six sessions—Design-Driven Entrepreneurship, Gleaning Insights, Reframe: Bridging Research and Action, Concept Generation, Prototyping: It’s Not Just for Products, and Launching and Iterating: Learning From the Market—will be led by practitioners who have done truly impressive and effective work in the sphere of design for social innovation.

Design for Social Innovation kicks off with a session on Design-Driven Entrepreneurship led by Jon Kolko, Executive Director of Design at Thinktiv, and includes Kriss Deiglmeier, Executive Director for the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Gary Chou, General Manager of Union Square Ventures.

The second session, Gleaning Insights, will look at how you take the first step in creating your business from the initial inspiration. The session will be led by myself and will feature Maria Giudice, Founder and Chief Design Officer of Hot Studio, and Karin Hibma and Michael Cronan, founders of ::CRONAN:: Design.

Session three, Reframe: Bridging Research and Action, is about synthesizing insights. Sami Nerenberg, Director of Operations at Design for America, Elizabeth Johansen, Director of Product Development at Design that Matters, and Saul Garlick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Think Impact will lead.

In the fourth session, Concept Generation, we examine ways of creating something you will continue to be inspired by, and developing conceptual frameworks that engage and meet the needs of your intended audiences. The session is led by Cheryl Heller, Chair of the Design for Social Innovation program at SVA and Board Chair at PopTech, Heather Fleming, Founder of Catapult Design, and Erica Priggen, Executive Producer at Free Range Studios.

The fifth session, Prototyping, looks at how prototyping applies to building a business. The session is led by Jocelyn Wyatt, Executive Director and Co-Lead of IDEO, Adam Dole Business Planning Manager at Mayo Clinic, Veronika Scott, Founder of the Empowerment Plan, and Alex Gilliam, Founder of Public Workshop.

Last, but certainly not least, is Launching and Iterating, in which we discuss the importance of market feedback from customers to hone and refine ideas. The panel is led by Yves Behar, Founder of Fuse Project, Krista Donaldson, CEO at D-Rev, and Damien Newman, Founder of Central.

I’m tremendously excited and honored to be leading this amazing group of presenters, and I hope to see a few of you at SOCAP11. I can promise it’s not something to be missed.

Register now!

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