What is Design for Social Change?
Design for Social Change (D4SC) is a win-win-win social impact business for communities, local businesses and global brands. We are creating Changify – A Kickstarter for civic change linked to a realtime locality and brand index where your change projects are brought to life by direct backing from people and brands in your neighbourhood and you as a Changifyer earn points to spend in local shops in recognition of your good work.
As a Changifyer, you create local change projects by spotting, rating and reporting on things you care about by taking photos, sending texts using any mobile phone, along with positive/negative ratings of a local place or issue. You can also share these on Facebook or Twitter to get more online backers. We aggregate data across social media and your reports to create a realtime Good Index that reflects the neighbourhood public sentiment on local places and issues. Think of it like Bloomberg stock index for local neighbourhoods. Our platform helps locate where the issue is and its criticality by analysing the mobile data sent in by community. We recommend brands to take positive action to support/ back local change projects on Changify by sharing data with brand /CSR/local store managers on proximity of issue to their store and public sentiment. Brands that back Changify projects get recognised for their contribution through our platform and at local Hack the Hood events. Those that don’t take action are recognised with a pending/no action taken status.
Changifyers who contribute their time volunteering to solve local change projects earn points on our system. These points can be used in local stores to buy products and services. Also percentage of profits from Changify goes towards funding/backing local change projects.
How did you come up with the idea?
Priya started D4SC in London, frustrated with the lack of platforms/services for making immediate change down the street where she worked or within her neighbourhood. Changify is aimed at people (local employees/ citizens/neighbours) who want to make/ship change down their street along with the local community, brands and businesses.
What is your experience in a coworking environment? Do you think it add value to you and your company?
Co-working keeps you motivated and focussed on what you are trying to achieve alongside like minded folks. The Betahaus environment has the right amount of energy and great community, where its easy for you to find the right people, tools or meetups so you can hit the ground running. Also the coffee is the right strength, so it definitely helps
What are the challenges that you faced so far?
Having a distributed team and prototyping between two cities is ambitious, but also good for us to test our hypothesis. I learnt somewhere its better to have unattainable goals and half reach it , than have attainable goals and reach it 100%. Being between Berlin and London, starting up and running Hack the Hood events at both places, is testing our pace but energising our team.
What are your future goals?
We would like everyone to be a Changifyer and believe they can make change down their street and more importantly have a great time doing it together with their community and local businesses. We want to make social change fun and accessible to all, build on people’s innate curiosity to find out what’s happening in their neighbourhood. It should feel as simple and enjoyable as going to your favorite coffeeshop or a nice run in the park i.e. something you look forward to daily on your street or in your neighbourhood.
Alessandro Vercesi took the interview.