The Anti-Hackathon: A New Approach to Design for Social Impact

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  • 2023

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • Design for Good

Commissioned By:

Design for Good

Designed In:

United Kingdom

Design for Good aims to be the world’s most ambitious and impactful design non-profit. It is a global alliance, comprising many of the world’s leading organizations, who will unleash their combined creative talent of thousands of designers, to design and deliver positive impact against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Each year, Design for Good will focus on one UN SDG. In this, its inaugural year, Design for Good will seek to address Goal 6, focused on clean water and sanitation. Gilbert Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water, is a trustee of Design for Good and will help cultivate the support of local NGOs in communities most affected to provide insights into real-world needs and constraints, to ensure designers’ solutions are sustainable. The initial results of Design for Good, with the first ideas announced for implementation, will be published later in June 2023.

  • The founding alliance comprises General Mills, Logitech, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft led by Xbox, Nedbank, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Philips, and the Royal College of Art. The design leaders at each of the founding companies donate 5 days a year of each of their participating designers, in cross-company teams to design and develop open-source products and services to address some of society’s biggest challenges, this year, around water and sanitation.

  • It is too early to judge impact. 33 projects are in prototyping stage. The work will continue until the end of May 2023, then we will see the final output.

  • Commercial designers from ten leading organizations are challenged to step out of their comfort zones, and do the painful pivot to social impact design, in support of UN SDGs. We are the only known private sector alliance that focused on supporting the UN SDGs in a very over way. CDOs have volunteered their design teams' time to pursue this.