exploreID: Design for Social Good

Greater Good Studio is built on a mission of advancing equity. The consultancy takes on projects in the social sector focusing not just on designing solutions but also teaching design to community leaders and changemakers. Join us for a conversation with moderator Sara Cantor Aye (MDes 2005), co-founder and executive director of Greater Good Studio. Sara and our panelists will share how design for social good differs from what you might find in a traditional consultancy, what it takes to create a culture focused on personal values, and pathways for engaging in civic-minded work. 

About the panelists

Sara Cantor Aya, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Greater Good Studio
Sara co-founded Greater Good Studio to apply her background in ethnographic research and design strategy to overlooked problems and underserved people. At Greater Good, she designs effective and inclusive engagements, guides the research practice, and develops partnerships with clients, peers and mentors. Sara speaks regularly on designing for social impact and has facilitated social innovation workshops around the world with a wide range of learners, from nonprofit executives to high school students. Sara holds a master’s in design planning from the Institute of Design at IIT and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University.

Kyle Newton, Design Lead, Greater Good Studio
For Kyle, design has always been deeply rooted in critical thinking and organic creativity. He has a strong interest in people, culture and how we create meaning in the world around us. Kyle studied communication design at Washington University in St. Louis, where he began exploring how human-centered design relates to his interest in anthropological research. Before joining Greater Good Studio, he worked at a local publication firm and a design innovation firm working on a range of commercial and social challenges.

Kareeshma Ali, Design Research Lead, Greater Good Studio
Kareeshma is enraptured by the mind-body-environment connection. She joined Greater Good Studio in 2016 with great excitement about bridging her experience in the built environment with the practice of human-centered design, and using design research to create positive, social and environmental impact. Kareeshma holds a Masters in Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning, and a Post-Professional Certificate in Social and Environmental Design from Archeworks. When not in the studio, you can find Kareeshma in motion through dance and yoga.

Abel Mucyo, Community Manager, Greater Good Studio
Abel believes that social impact backed by innovation has the potential to create quick and immediate gains for people most affected by systematic disadvantages. Working as a Community Manager at Greater Good Studio, he draws from his previous experience in international development, social justice and community engagement to build lasting relationships with partners and create ongoing dialogue and communication with clients and team members. Abel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a Masters in International Development Management from Germany.

Amanda Geppert, Founding Director of the Design Thinking Lab at the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), University of Chicago
Amanda Geppert has worked at the intersection of design and public health for more than a decade. She is the founding director of the Design Thinking Lab at the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) at the University of Chicago. The lab was created to apply human-centered and participatory design approaches in service to creating sexual health care that aligns with the rights and aspirations of young people.

Prior to Ci3, Amanda was the first director of U.S. Programs at Cure Violence, an evidence-based public health approach to reduce shootings and killings. She led Cure Violence model replication in 16 U.S. cities including Baltimore, New Orleans and New York City. 

Amanda is PhD candidate in Design at the IIT Institute of Design; her research focuses on the development and evaluation of participatory design processes. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago. She is a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow.

About the exploreID series

IIT Institute of Design (ID) gives students the freedom to explore a wide breadth of design disciplines by offering flexible master’s programs. This spring, a series of events—many of them in our new home—will touch on the vast array of pathways students pursue during and after ID, including design research, digital experience, organizing for innovation, and product management. Attend to learn more about the diversity of courses we offer and what design means at ID.