Proximity Designs is an award-winning, social enterprise based in Yangon, Myanmar that designs, makes, and delivers affordable, income-boosting products and services that complement the entrepreneurial spirit of rural families. They focus on irrigation technology, agricultural knowledge and financial services for small farmers that help open up new economic opportunities.
Founded in 2004, their products and services have improved the lifestyles, and boosted the incomes of over 484,000 rural households (almost 2.5 million people) across the country, by more than US$231 million. To reach scale and maximise impact, they apply a business model and design thinking to their mission. With user-centered design at their core, they design products and services that are cost-conscious, well-designed, high-quality, aesthetically attractive, convenient and provide a great user experience. By treating farmers as customers, rather then beneficiaries, Proximity is able to achieve large-scale social impact while their aspirational rural customers have the dignity to decide through the market whether they value the products and services.
For more information on Proximity Designs visit their website here.
Headquartered in Malaysia since 2007, Scope Group’s mission is to create impact by design through harnessing the power of social innovation and partnerships for social good and leveraging technology and cross-sector collaborations to deliver.
Scope Group’s expertise lies in supporting the “people” element of change and impact creation: engaging stakeholders, facilitating processes, coaching, leading and challenging the change process within organisations big and small. This often involves working in and between sectors to craft strategies, form synergy partnerships, and implement projects.
In 2015 and 2016, Scope Group managed an ASEAN-wide social innovation competition in 10 countries, with 1,200 social innovators. Scope Group worked with over 30 impact partners including corporations, governments, multilateral agencies and philanthropic organisations interested in investing in innovations for sustainable communities and resilient nations.
The ASEAN Impact Challenge winners for 2016 were Siam Organic, who created an organic rice product, which benefits local farmers and the environment, and water filtration solutions by Water Roam, which are designed to bring about the quickest access to clean drinking water at disaster-hit locations, and help to promote social change in rural development areas.
Scope Group also runs Impact Hub KL, a community and creative space for those who want to join together to make a difference. Their diverse community consists of impact driven individuals and organisations which include entrepreneurs, social businesses, freelancers, corporates, start-ups, creatives and many more.
VEIL – Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab
The Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) seeks to identify and promote emerging technical, social and organisational innovations that could form part of future sustainable systems. VEIL creates conditions to research, envision, innovate, create and test, ideas and concepts for sustainable, desirable and realisable products, services, built environments and lifestyles.
Object: Australian Centre for Design
Object: Australian Centre for Design is Australia’s leading centre for contemporary design and play a critical role in building a significant design culture for the country. They nurture a nation of innovative thinkers and we inspire audiences to use design in their lives.Read More …
Designing Out Crime research centre (DOC)
The Designing Out Crime research centre (DOC) was founded by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), following a competitive tender process by the NSW Department of Attorney General & Justice (DAGJ).
DOC applies a ‘Design Thinking’ approach to find solutions to problems that have proved impossible to solve. Read More …
Wellington, New Zealand
Enspiral is a network of professionals who cooperate to guarantee they do meaningful work. Each of their ventures tells a story of collaboration sparked from like minded people coming together. Their strategy, structure, funding model (a portion of profits goes towards projects for social impact) and the products and services that they develop, has been designed to ensure positive social outcomes.
Critical Pixels Design Ltd.
Auckland, New Zealand
Critical Pixels Design Ltd. is a company focused on using open source solutions to meet the needs of local communities, through design and 3D Printing. The aim is to have a process in design work that encourages starting from scratch in order to best match a creative need to a creative solution. Their designs are dynamic, future thinking and empowering.
The Lien Centre for Social Innovation
The Lien Centre for Social Innovation is a partnership between the Lien Foundation and Singapore Management University (SMU), established in 2006 to advance the thinking and capability of the non-profit sector. Based in Singapore, the Lien Centre seeks to enable global thinking and the dissemination of best practices related to social innovation in Singapore and beyond. Read More …
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tandemic is a social enterprise focused on helping the world progress through creativity and innovation. Our programmes include Makeweekend, which brings people together to build solutions to tough challenges like improving education and disaster relief, Do Something Good, Malaysia’s largest volunteering platform.
design for – Nanyang Technological University
design for is a non-profit organisation, founded by Professor Nanci Takeyama from Nanyang Technological University. It is an open platform for collaborations on social design projects. The name ‘design for’ is a catalyst for the possibilities of design with a humanistic view. The members of ‘design for’ intentionally focus on designing for good, for people, and for cultural preservation.
Singapore & Shanghai, China
frog design is a global product strategy and design firm. We identify business opportunities, create great products, and design meaningful experiences to grow brands and delight customers. There are more than 600 strategists, researchers, designers, and technologists who consult and partner with clients across industries. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have offices in Amsterdam, Austin, Boston, Milan, Munich, New York, Seattle, Shanghai, and Singapore.
Re:public Inc., is not just a design firm nor a research agency, but a Think & Do tank specialized in architecting innovation ecosystems in an organization, a society, or a nation. When problems are becoming increasingly complex beyond the control of a single entity, we take a systemic, human-centered approach to understand the issues and build innovation capacity to act.
Osaka, Japan & Yamagata, Japan
Studio L undertakes approximately 80 design projects aimed at rejuvenating communities ranging from villages of just a few dozen residents and regional cities to some of the biggest commercial facilities in Japan. In contrast to other approaches that aims to reverse the population exodus or revive local economy, the co-founder Yamazaki tackles these issues through ‘community design’
Design for Disasters
Design for Disasters (D4D) was established in 2010. It consists of young designers, artists, and academics. Public participation is also welcome in sharing ideas and find long-term solutions for everyone to be prepared for natural disasters, particularly those resulting from extreme weather, which may attack the city any moment.
Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC)
Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) was established in 2004 in Bangkok to connect and promote interaction among creativity, skill, cultural asset and business conducive to creating quality products and services that meet the global market demand. TCDC pushed forward the development of creative economy in 2008 to promote creative entrepreneurs as the key element of Thai economic driving force. Also, TCDC has built a knowledge management network through 14 mini TCDCs nationwide and opened TCDC Chiang Mai in 2013 as a center for exchanging creative ideas and readying regional entrepreneurs to keep up with ever-changing global demand.Read More …
Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)
Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is a social innovation lab and makerspace. The work lies at the intersection of social innovation, sustainability and technology. Creating nurturing environments, organizing programs and rally people around the idea of Purposeful Making.
Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB)
Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is a not-for-profit organisation to design systemic change through humanitarian engineering. Their main aims are to work in partnership to address a lack of access to basic human needs such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, basic infrastructure, waste systems, information communication technology and engineering education.
iDE InCompass – Human Centered Innovation lab
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
inCompass is a non-profit consulting practice within iDE, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. inCompass is the first innovation lab of its kind in Asia, with a mission to bring the best practices in innovation to serve the poor trhough Human Centered Design approach.
InSTEDD’s Innovation Labs
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
InSTEDD’s (Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters) Innovation Labs undertakes innovation, research and consultancy with a focus on collaborative technologies for social good. Each iLab promotes cross-sector collaborations that bring people together to explore solutions to regional health, safety and development problems.
Carpets for Communities
Mitpheap Village, Cambodia & Mandurah, Australia
Carpets for Communities is a non-profit social enterprise which aims to break the cycle of poverty through supporting education and sustainable development solutions. The project aims to offer immediate intervention, followed by a transition to a more sustainable solution through various micro businesses.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Kamworks is a social enterprise. Their vision is not only to develop new products in Cambodia, but also to assemble locally, thereby bringing technology, jobs and spare parts to the country. This way, they truly help to build a solar market.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Empower Lanka, is a youth led social enterprise that aims to literally empower Sri Lanka with electricity which nearly 20% of the population has no access to. Part of the Global Changemaker, the tag line is “Powering Sri Lanka, One Village at a Time” and hopes to achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty through the spread of electricity while promoting renewable energy among the community.
Dhaka, Bangladesh & Cotabato City, Philippines
BRAC is a development organisation dedicated to alleviate poverty by empowering under-resourced people, and helping them to bring about positive changes in their lives by creating opportunities. Their priorities focus on women, health and education, farmers through empowerment and inclusive financial services and self-sustaining solutions. BRAC’s main strength is thinking local, acting global.
Financial Solutions for Post-Disaster Communities
IDEO.org is the non-profit arm of design firm IDEO, working with a human centered design approach to shape products, processes and business systems. Their ‘Financial Solutions for Post-Disaster Communities‘ was initiated six months after the devastating Typhoon Yolanda. IDEO.org partnered with Mercy Corps, BanKO, and CauseLabs to explore how to help communities in the Philippines rebuild their financial lives through the use of mobile banking tools. They are continuing to design new financial products to support the financial security for the future.
Lifehack works at the frontline of catalysing meaningful action to improve youth wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. They represent a new way of working by creating a Social Innovation Lab which is constantly designing, prototyping, implementing and iterating interventions to find the highest impact approaches to address well-being.