Engineering News

Design for America Leadership Studio to Explore Climate Change Solutions

The event will take place August 8-11 as part of the second annual DFA Summit

More than 100 students from 32 universities gathered at Northwestern for the 2018 DFA Leadership Studio.

More than 100 students from universities across the nation will converge on Northwestern’s Evanston campus next month, aiming to use their design thinking skills to develop community-focused solutions to climate change at the annual Design for America Leadership Studio.

During the four-day, annual event taking place August 8-11, students will learn about design, social innovation, and creative leadership as well as celebrate the 10th anniversary of Design for America (DFA), the grass-roots, student-led network launched at Northwestern.

A recipient of the 2018 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, DFA has spread to more than 35 universities across the country, including Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, and Yale, and has affiliates around the world. More than 1,200 students from 140 different majors are now involved with DFA, where they identify social challenges using a human-centered design process and work collaboratively to implement solutions.

The Leadership Studio, sponsored by Artefact, Edelman, Kohl's, Lundberg Family Farms, Google, and Publicis Sapient, will challenge students to use human-centered design to prototype and iterate solutions to support sustainability initiatives in their communities.

Students will complete the Leadership Studio through one of two tracks: the Community Leader track, which will teach students the management and relationship-building skills necessary to facilitate design thinking projects; and the Community Designer track, which teaches students each step of the design process so they can best create impactful solutions for their communities.

The Leadership Studio is part of the DFA Summit, which also includes the Create Impact Conference, bringing together DFA alumni and young professionals to use design thinking for social good in their careers and communities.

Other highlights of the Summit include:

  • A special “Communities for Sustainability” kickoff event held on Thursday, August 8 in downtown Chicago hosted by Edelman
  • Keynote presentations and lightning talks from academic, industry, and civic leaders who have demonstrated the importance of design across industries
  • Industry working sessions to teach attendees how to incorporate human-centered design into their careers
  • Networking sessions and regional meetups to help DFA members strengthen connections and jumpstart future collaborations

Register for DFA Summit 2019.