If local people went through an experience of solving local problem with design thinking process, they can be empowered and build the ownership of their neighborhood. I've been personally involved in the creation of 'Design can do' and participated the 3 day design hackathon, where I saw the real movement take place. I believe this kinds of initiative can go a far way, just like Startup Weekend changed numerous people's life and TedX changed so many community. With that says, I want to share a bit more about the organization and the initiative.
What is Design Can Do?
Design can do(DCD) is a social design organization set up with a can-do attitude to tackle current social issues around the world with an interdisciplinary and international team of professionals. It began with three designers who believed that design can make a difference for the better, and they started two initial objectives: one, to host social design workshops relevant to local environments around the world, and two, to use these workshops as a test bed for developing an evolving a toolkit with a manual so that others will join us in making the world a better place through design thinking.
DCD hope that participation in the workshop will ignite the hunger in others to set up such initiatives and open people’s eyes to the value of design thinking and fuel an interest in many others to come and join the conversation.
What's the progress so far?
In August 2012, Design Can Do launched its first workshop in Seoul with local partner who brought up local problem and 36 participants - a group of professionals from design, engineer, and business sectors. 6 ideas have come out from 36 hour workshop and 1 idea is still ongoing. We are already noticing the positive change and movement have been generated from the local people organically and conversation is growing.
On November 2012, DCD will conduct it's 2nd workshop at Cape Town, South Africa. Named World Design Capital for 2014, Cape Town has promised that ‘Live Design. Transform Life’ is an achievable epithet. The details will follow soon.
All in all, I believe story and experience change people's mind and make the real difference. Just like group of entrepreneurs are striving to change San Francisco(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlaJOE8yflo), you can change your community. DCD will ignite the sparks and brining the tool kits. For further information, check out the website (http://designcando.org). Also feel free to contact DCD at email@example.com and spread our message throughout the world.