Over the past two days, 30 design strategists converged upon District Hall in Boston's Innovation District to tackle a single problem:
- How can we improve health by getting everyone to eat better?
The DxB360 Social Innovation Challenge is similar in concept to a hackathon. Multidisciplinary teams are formed from a diverse applicant pool, including designers, technologists, business strategists, and subject matter experts. The teams are given access to a real-world client to inform their research and ground their ideas in reality. DxB360 is one part of the inaugural Design Exchange Boston, a brand new conference that seeks to define the city as a hub for the design industry.
I had the pleasure of participating in this year's challenge for Haley House, a kickass nonprofit whose mission is to "use food as a vehicle to help alleviate suffering, build new skills and bring communities together." In addition to running a soup kitchen in the South End and managing 120 units of affordable housing, Haley House also has a Bakery Cafe in Dudley Square. If you've spent any time in that part of Roxbury, you know that it's a fixture in the community.
The bakery cafe is an exemplary model of social entrepreneurship: the food served is intentionally selected based on community input, the organization provides job training for the formerly incarcerated, and it provides a wonderfully social space in a neighborhood that desperately needed one. It's one of the few places in Boston that brings a true mixture of people together in a single place.Read More