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Dear reader,

Have you looked in a mirror lately? I mean, really looked? This can be uncomfortable (especially if you’re over 40, like me). But I would also suggest that every now and then, it’s necessary.

Design is a process that forces self-reflection. Whether you are designing a program, process or product, your learning is going to uncover some hard truths. Not just about your clients or stakeholders, but about yourself. And I’m not talking about your organization, I’m talking about you, as an actual human.

This reckoning is hard. But it’s also important. Because we can’t make change on the outside without making some change on the inside. I believe the best sort of design fundamentally transforms the designer. If you stay open to that reflection, I think you’ll find it’s worth it.

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Sara Cantor,
Executive Director Greater Good Studio

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Visually transforming a leader in community lending

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Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana was having a year of big changes. In addition to a 4x increase in lending due to Covid, they were separating from parent company Accion International. In order to co-create a new name, website, and visual identity, we designed an inclusive process that helped staff and stakeholders to see themselves in a new light.


Dismantling the “hero designer” model

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Design Research Lead Betsy Ramaccia remembers learning about the hero designer in architecture school: this was “someone who, as a result of their training and creative brilliance, has the right and privilege to flex their authority over the design process.” In contrast, she argues, designers in the public realm should embrace a new set of roles: holding space for decisions, opening up ideation, working relationally, and sharing the air.


Asking the difficult questions

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Executive Director Sara Cantor shares the story of founding GGS with fresh hindsight: “If I’m really honest, I think I aspired to be kind of a savior.” But while this motivation served a purpose at first, she reflects, “Nobody wants to be saved.” In this video, Sara shares the questions that transformed Greater Good Studio over ten years of people-centered social change.

Greater Good Live

We are excited to announce that in Spring 2022, Greater Good Studio will begin hosting a series of remote workshops and panel discussions for changemakers like you. Take our quick survey to tell us what topics you want to learn about!

Take the survey

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 © Greater Good Studio 2021. All rights reserved.

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