Design for Good + Ethics + Social Impact with Sarah Cantor — DT101 E100

Sarah Cantor is a co-founder and the executive director of Greater Good Studio, where she and her team think of themselves as pissed-off optimists. We talk about design for good, ethics in design practice, and creating social impact.

Portrait of Sara Cantor

Listen to Learn About

  • Human-centered design
  • Greater Good Studio’s project “gut check”
  • The power designers wield
  • Better ways of co-designing with clients
  • Community-based design work

Our Guest

Sara Cantor is a creative leader and human-centered designer focused on equity, inclusion and social innovation. After seven years using human-centered design to create new markets for corporate clients, she co-founded Greater Good Studio in 2011 to apply the process and principles of design to the more pressing challenges of the social sector. Her team of “pissed-off optimists” has helped nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to build internal capacity for social innovation, create and prototype new programs and services, and sustain and scale their impact.

Show Highlights

[01:06] Sarah’s journey into design, and the influence of Tom Hanks’ movie, Big.
[01:45] Studying engineering at college.
[02:34] Finding her true passion during an engineering design course.
[03:52] Attending the Institute of Design.
[04:39] Discovering her love of design research.
[05:34] The first project where Sarah was able to use her design skills.
[09:22] Sarah talks about her early design career.
[10:31] Her rising disillusionment with the for-profit, corporate world.
[15:57] Co-founding Greater Good Studio.
[18:27] Designing for behavior change has no “marketplace.”
[20:53] Greater Good Studio’s approach to business and its work.
[21:01] Codifying the “is this the right project for us?” gut check.
[23:49] Some of the gut check questions to ponder.
[27:28] The power that a designer wields.
[29:13] Being accountable not just to the client, but to the end user.
[30:16] Helping clients share their power with their end users.
[31:18] “Sharing the Sharpie,” co-designing and building ownership of the work.
[34:58] Being able to let the client do the designing while providing guidance and support.
[36:39] The future direction of Greater Good Studio.

Links

Sara on Twitter
Sara on LinkedIn
Sara on IIT
Sara on SEGD
Greater Good Studio
Greater Good Studio on Twitter
Five Questions with Sara Cantor
The Gut Check, by Sara Cantor
In/Visible Talks 2021: Sara Cantor – Design is Not Neutral: How to Align Work and Values
How to Change the World Designing for Good with Sara Cantor

Design Thinking 101 Episodes You Might Like

Design for Good + Gut Checks + Seeing Power with George Aye — DT101 E50
Critical and Emancipatory Design Thinking with Lesley-Ann Noel — DT101 E57
Innovation Culture + Future of Work + Designing Value with Marc Bolick — DT101 E93

Resources — Thinking and Solving Like a Designer

Courses

Fluid Hive’s Designing Facilitation Course launches soon. Get notified when enrollment opens.

Good events are essential when creating effective solutions while thinking and acting like a designer. Designing Facilitation shows you how to create effective, engaging events that are easy to lead.

You’ll learn how to apply the Event Design Questions, use over 20 event creation tools, how to avoid common facilitation traps, and make the most of every second people spend at your events. Notify me when the course launches!


Ready to learn new ways to think and solve like a designer today? Enroll in Framing: Creating Better Solutions by Finding More Valuable Problems to Solve — from Fluid Hive’s Design Thinking 101 Learning.

Articles

Ask Like a Designer — Monthly articles with design ideas, methods, frameworks, templates, and a question-fueled approach to design-driven innovation. Discover new ways to think and solve like a designer.

Sample pages from inside Fluid Hive's Innovation Shield

Guide

Download Fluid Hive's Innovation Shield: a guide to avoiding innovation traps by asking 9 of Fluid Hive's Design Thinking Questions.

Your Ask Like a Designer Studio

Your Ask Like a Designer Studio connects you with people interesed in thinking and solving like a designer.

Enjoy invitations to free, live Studio events. Receive articles, Design Thinking 101 podcast updates, tips, tools, templates, workshop information, and more to help you create and perform!

Innovation Smart Start Webinar

Your next project could be easier, faster and more effective if you play smart at the start. In this webinar Dr. Dawan Stanford will teach you ways to ask like a designer so your projects succeed more often and your revenue grows.