Cooper-Hewitt Museum Announces Publication of White Paper and Panel Event on Socially Responsible Design

The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum today announced the publication of the white paper Design and Social Impact: A cross-sectoral agenda for design education, research and practice, along with a panel discussion on the paper’s findings and proposals to be held Feb. 21 in New York. The paper is an outgrowth of the 2012 Social Impact Design Summit at The Rockefeller Foundation, which was hosted by Cooper-Hewitt, The Lemelson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Surdna Foundation to discuss strategies and actions to advance the field of socially responsible design—one term that refers to the practice of design for the public good, especially in disadvantaged communities.

The five key recommendations set forth by the summit participants in the white paper are:

Expand networks, as there is much that members of this diverse, global community can learn from one another and from the constituents they serve
Emphasize storytelling to more effectively communicate social impact design’s value and how design can play a significant role in creating social change
Build a culture of evaluation with better tools to demonstrate the long-term impact of design projects and initiatives
Form intelligent coalitions with dedicated social impact design programs within universities as well as informal teaching environments, both physical and online
Create alternative funding strategies to enable innovative and ongoing support

Design and Social Impact: A cross-sectoral agenda for design education, research and practice is published by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in conjunction with the National Endowment of the Arts and The Lemelson Foundation. To download a copy of the white paper, visit

Program Registration

Intelligent Coalitions: Design and Social Impact will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at New York Public Radio, 44 Charlton Street, New York. The program is free with advance registration ( and will be webcast live at

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