Innovative Examples of Social Impact Design

By Rob Monroe, Jan 12, 2016
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Photo by One Laptop Per Child / CC BY


Periodically, we’re going to share with you some of the most inspiring examples of social design we come across. We’ll also share inspiration from many other fields—art, photography, film, sculpture, architecture, industrial design, urban planning, health, technology and much more. These innovations are saving lives, preserving our planet and improving the quality of life for many, many people. We hope these articles inspire you to think of new ways to expand your mission and impact lives. Enjoy!


One Laptop Per Child

These vibrant, rugged, smartly-designed laptops are enabling children all over the world to gain access to a better education. The XO Laptops, as they are known, are light, flexible, easy-to-use and require low amounts of energy to operate. The custom software allows a child to explore, express & learn more about themselves and the world. Over 2 million children in 42 countries are using XO Laptops today.


We remember the first time we discovered this innovative product. LifeStraw was created to remove Guinea worm larvae from drinking water. Guinea worm disease affects 3.5 million people each year throughout Africa and Asia. LifeStraw’s microbiological filters remove nearly all the contaminates in unsafe drinking water and have contributed to nearly eradicating this painful disease.

Humans of New York

There is simply nothing like good storytelling. Humans of New York captures the lives of ordinary citizens, their challenges and triumphs. Enjoy these candid portraits of New Yorkers that everyone, no matter where you live, can surely relate to.