09.25.10: Centers for Disease Control — Healthy Aging Project
The Healthy Aging Project, known as 5over50, has received a $90,347 grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation to pursue the next phase of its work. This includes creating a pilot program, and a model for possible full-scale implementation and assessment aimed at encouraging people aged 50 to 64 to engage in a series of preventable health measures. As part of that effort, the grant will be used to develop a communications strategy, as well as outreach to potential community and institutional partners, as well as design elements. The first step will be to reconvene team members for a strategy session to develop concepts, followed by research to test communications strategies with diverse communities. The team will work with Doug Shenson’s organization, SPARC, on the research and conceptual stages. The project will conclude with a final presentation to RWJ and other key stakeholders to review the solution and service-delivery blueprint.
09.25.10: Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) — Menstruation Challenge
Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) and its founder Elizabeth Scharpf, a participant in the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge at Aspen, have been named finalists for the 2010 Curry Stone Design Prize, which honors an individual or group for developing or implementing a visionary design innovation. Scharpf was also invited to the Clinton Global Initiative, to weigh in on enterprise development and investments in projects involving girls and women. SHE’s goal is help women set up businesses to produce and distribute inexpensive sanitary pads made from sustainable materials, as part of a wider “eco-system” for local economic growth and educational programs about health and hygiene. Meanwhile, SHE has finished its first 8-month pilot project to test health and hygiene curricula and setting up small pad distribution enterprises in Rwanda, and is currently analyzing the results.
09.25.10: UNICEF — Early Childhood Development Kits
UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development kits were distributed in large numbers in Haiti following the earthquake and are being evaluated to help determine if the products in the kit meet the needs of the project from a program and product-design perspective. The 5,000 kits contain play and educational materials ranging from art supplies to plush puppets for children age 6 months to 6 years. They are the same kits that UNICEF brought to Aspen for discussions that focused on what methods can be used in early childhood education other than standard toys. While the ECD kits distributed in Haiti did not substantially change from the UNICEF prototype, they were updated to include ideas promoted team members at Aspen, namely that activity guides for caregivers include information about what can be done using the natural surroundings. After the Haiti evaluation, UNICEF will determine how the project will move forward.
05.11.10: Centers for Disease Control — Healthy Aging Project
Core members of the CDC team have completed a concept paper as part of its effort to seek funding for a pilot "5over50" project. The overall goal is to create a national branded program with deep community roots that encourages Americans over 50 to take part in a series of basic health measures to prevent or detect major illnesses. The initial work will involve developing a core communications strategy, securing pilot partners, establishing funding goals for a nationwide launch, and creating an organizational structure. PDF of funding proposal is here.
05.08.10: Rural Alabama — Engine Project for Regional Development
A workshop held in Birmingham in March allowed team members to present ideas from the Summit to 40 potential partners, focusing on how new resources and design services could spur local social innovation and community development projects across the state to combat poverty. Over the next 18 months the "Engine" team (the new name for "Pollinate Projects") will initiate three specific projects and develop frameworks for a diverse set of other projects, from culture to tourism. A one-year full-time staff person working through Auburn University’s Rural Studio and the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development will support this effort. In addition, the AIGA will make Engine the center of a national call for design service. PDF of workshop proposal is here.
05.08.10: Sustainable Food Project — Regional Food Challenge
Core members of the team have reached out to key stakeholders to broaden the conversation about many of the project ideas generated at the Summit. The goal is to convene a meeting, possibly in the early Fall, with these individuals or enterprises to discuss how to create a roadmap to advance aspects of the Aspen agenda. In particular, the focus is on finding ways to cultivate more regional food systems and to devise a "Regional Food Challenge," outlined in detail in the Aspen final report, which would identify, aggregate and accelerate innovative food projects already on the ground. The team is in the early stages of seeking sponsorship for this meeting: realistically, a sponsor or partner is needed in order to be able to commit the resources to designing and facilitating this stage-two meeting.
03.26.10: INDEX: AIGA Aspen Design Challenge — VeggiePatch, DIY Edition
The 2009 INDEX: AIGA Aspen Design Challenge Prize winner, VeggiePatch, by Australian designer Joanna Szczepanska, has been redesigned to allow greater use and adaptation through a do-it-yourself version. This includes downloadable, step-by-step plans for individuals or groups to build VeggiePatch as well as weekend workshops to learn about materials and construction. VeggiePatch is an innovative approach to urban agriculture that integrates irrigation and vermicomposting to reduce the environmental impact of food in cities. It uses post-consumer recycled waste such as cardboard and drip irrigation technology to support its functionality and goal of making urban farming easier.
03.12.10: SHE & UNICEF — Menstruation Challenge
Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) and its founder Elizabeth Scharpf, a participant in the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge at Aspen, was cited as a social entrepreneurship success story at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Working with the Aspen Design Summit and UNICEF, as well as other potential partners, SHE’s goal is help women set up businesses to produce and distribute inexpensive sanitary pads made from sustainable materials, as part of a wider “eco-system” for local economic growth and educational programs about health and hygiene. The praise for SHE and Scharpf's work came from Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, during a workshop on sustainable design.
03.02.10: Mayo Clinic — Rural Community Health Care
The Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation has completed its initial field research on rural communities and healthcare, an issue it brought to the Aspen Design Summit. The findings highlight the need for a community-based healthcare delivery system that attempts to pool existing community resources into a network that reaches beyond traditional healthcare services to include, for example, those related to finance, transportation and childcare. This grand vision requires enormous collaboration among traditional and non-traditional partners. To that end, the efforts of the Center for Innovation are currently focused on identifying those partners and laying the groundwork for future prototyping efforts and areas of opportunity for Aspen project contributions. Additional research into past or ongoing redesign efforts at the community level (including healthcare and other topics like education) is also being conducted.
02.05.10: Aspen Design Summit — Film of Participants
This short film by GoodFocus Films captures participant perspectives
(and the working atmosphere) at the Aspen Design Summit.
01.13.10: UNICEF — Early Childhood Development Kits
In February, UNICEF’s early childhood development (ECD) team in New York will begin an internal evaluation and monitoring phase for the early version of the ECD kit initially conceived at Aspen. This will require six months for logistics feedback and one year for usability feedback. At the same time, some members of the Aspen UNICEF team have proposed design ideas to UNICEF and suggestions about further modifications in future iterations of the kit. These include design as well as social and environmental compliance issues.
01.08.10: SHE & UNICEF — Menstruation Challenge
Elizabeth Scharpf, of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), is in Rwanda to meet with UNICEF representatives from Rwanda and Uganda. They are discussing the possibility of collaboration between UNICEF East Africa and SHE on rolling out the menstruation project in Uganda. UNICEF’s Chris Fabian wants his organization to play a facilitating role in bringing together the private sector, NGOs, government and international organizations to help expand the menstruation project while SHE focuses on implementation. Separately, Manuel Toscano is putting together a new presentation about the menstruation challenge, based on the Aspen final report, aimed at potential funders.
01.05.10: Rural Alabama — Pollinate Project for Regional Development
Team members are planning to meet in Birmingham in March for a concept development workshop to move the Hale County project forward. Auburn University and the University of Alabama have agreed to host the meeting; a request for seed funding is under consideration at one foundation. The goal of the workshop is to begin developing the web initiative ("Pollinate Projects") originally outlined at Aspen, one that would link groups and initiatives across the state. The idea is to choose a few specific project themes — such as the Underground Railway bike path, or a canoe path — that could be used as a prototype to seek further funding. Ideally this would be a project that crosses county borders in order to interest the universities or state of Alabama to supply funding for a statewide initiative. Team members from the University of Alabama and Auburn University will introduce the project to potential institutional sponsors during the workshop. The aim is to validate and refine the concept, securing commitments to seek funding for the Alabama Pilot Project during the Summer 2010 funding cycles.
01.05.10: Centers for Disease Control — Healthy Aging Project
Team members received positive feedback from colleagues about the broad outline of the “5 over 50” project conceived at Aspen. But team members have since decided that more research and understanding of the project is required to match the vision to reality. The next step, now under way, is to develop a concise concept paper summarizing the project, issues and major themes based on the final report presented at Aspen and subsequent conversations between team members and colleagues at companies and institutions. The goal is to use the concept paper to develop a funding strategy that would map out different categories of funders; gather relevant connections from individual members’ networks; and develop basic value propositions for different types of funders. All team members are asked to develop leads and contacts.