“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”

Albert Einstein

Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters 1985–2010 Exhibition
“This exhibit draws upon James Lapides’ extensive archive of international AIDS Awareness posters along with posters generously donated to Massachusetts College of Art and Design. A cohesive selection of 153 posters presents an insightful overview of diverse visual strategies employed by many different countries working within their own distinctive cultural perspective in response to the subject of AIDS as a public health emergency.”

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The internet is a dynamic resource for people seeking to use the power of Visual Communications to foment positive changes in society. The websites and blogs included in this listing will provide individuals with a solid foundation as they strive to achieve that goal.

Act Responsible: Advertising Community Together
“Federate, promote and inspire responsible communication on sustainability, equitable development and social responsibility. ACT shows how advertising professionals from all continents can use their core talent — creativity — to play a significant role in addressing today's crucial world issues.”
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AdBusters Online
“We are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century.”
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“Marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to create awareness, foster understanding and motivate action [for public issues].”
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Ads of the World (Public Interest)
“Ads of the World is a commercial advertising archive and community showcasing the best and most interesting creative work worldwide.”
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Advertising is Good for You
By Paula Zargaj-Reynolds
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AIGA Living Principles
“The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action, celebrating and popularizing the efforts of those who use design thinking to create positive cultural change.”
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Another Limited Rebellion
“The intersection of design and activism from Another Limited Rebellion.”
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Buckminster Fuller Institute
“The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.”
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c space Center for Sustainable Innovation
“Its purpose is to conduct research, development, training, and consulting for, and with, companies around the world interested in achieving sustainability in the conduct of human affairs, especially their own. Of particular (but not exclusive) interest to us is sustainability in social learning. Some social learning or innovation environments, we believe, are more sustainable than others.”
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Center for Study of Political Graphics
“The Center for the Study of Political Graphics collects, preserves, and exhibits posters relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. Through its varied programs, CSPG is reclaiming the power of art to inspire people to action.”
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Cause Marketing Forum
“Helping businesses and nonprofits succeed together with practical information, connections and recognition.”
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Chris Jordan: Photographic Arts
“The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.” —Chris Jordan
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Community Arts Network
“The Community Arts Network (CAN) supports the belief that the arts are an integral part of a healthy culture, providing both intellectual nourishment and social benefit, and that community-based arts provide significant value both to communities and artists.”
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Design Can Change
“Design Can Change works on the belief that our industry can make positive change by working together. Use this resource as a starting point to help bring our community together to encourage sustainable actions.”
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Design Cares
“We are collecting professional acts of social responsibility, as an inspiration for those looking for ideas, and as a celebration of the role designers are taking in helping repair the world.”
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Design Education: Sharing the Future
“An open-source (ad-free) initiative conducted by Gustavo Machado, a socially and environmentally conscious designer and educator with an almost utopian dream: redesign the world.”
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The Designers Accord
“The Designers Accord is a coalition of design and innovation firms focused on working together to create positive environmental and social impact.”
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Design Feast
“Design Feast is a go-to resource for students, professionals, educators and the design-curious—delivering relevant and diverse design content, creative voices and projects.”
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Design for Democracy
“Applies all the tools of design to increase civic participation by making interactions between the U.S. government and its citizens more understandable, efficient and trustworthy. Design for Democracy collaborates with researchers, designers and policy-makers, from professional, governmental and academic communities, in service of our public sector clients.”
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Design for Social Change
“This site is designed by and for Visual Communications students at the University of Arizona's School of Art in collaboration with Karen White and Miguel Juarez. When working on this site, students are examining multimedia and web development as vehicles to convey messages for the betterment of the world, via political, personal expression and/or social environmental change.”
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Design Ignites Change
“Design Ignites Change challenges students to use design thinking to explore and create solutions for pressing social problems.”
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“ADC Designism explores the responsibilities and experiences of creatives and designers to drive social and political change through their work.”
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Design Observer
“Writings on design and culture.”
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Design Philosophy Papers
“Contribute to a far more informed understanding of design and the agency of design in the made world; develop the level of comprehension of the made world’s impact upon ‘natural systems,’ mind, cultures and the prefiguration of futures.”
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Design Philosophy Politics
“Design Philosophy Politics aspires to be rigorous in its criticism of the unsustainable and affirmative in its embrace of potentially effective actions towards sustainment.”
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Design 21: Social Design Network
“Mission is to inspire social activism through design. We connect people who want to explore ways design can positively impact our many worlds, and who want to create change here, now.”
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“Displaced Designer is a tool for the design community to request and offer help in times of need.”
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“EcoLabs aims to nurture whole systems thinking, foster ecological literacy, and create an alernative cultural vision that will drive transformational change to meet the goals of fully sustainable society.”
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“Fabrica, the Benetton research centre on communication, is primarily a meeting place. Meetings between people, of course, but also between artistic fields, languages, forms of expression, territories.”
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Forest Stewardship Council
“The Forest Stewardship Council was created to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide.”
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“This is a site dedicated to experimentation and research with global graphic and typographic issues.”
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Good Magazine Online
“We see a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn.”
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Good Thinking
“Good Thinking, an ethical design blog.”
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The Graphic Alliance: A Community of Graphic & Web Designers Committed to Social Change
“The Graphic Alliance is a network of graphic designers, web developers and related workers who promote fundamental social change through their work.”
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The Graphic Imperative: International Posters for Peace, Social Justice & The Environment 1965 – 2005
“A select retrospective of forty years of international and sociopolitical posters.”
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Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters 1985 – 2010
“A cohesive selection of 153 posters presents an insightful overview of diverse visual strategies employed by many different countries working within their own distinctive cultural perspective in response to the subject of AIDS as a public health emergency.”
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Green Blue
“Stimulates the creative redesign of industry by focusing the expertise of professional communities to create practical solutions, resources, and opportunities for implementing sustainability.”
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Grist: Environmental News & Commentary
“We exist to tell the untold stories, spotlight trends before they become trendy, and engage the apathetic.”
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Groovy Green
“Through this website, we hope to get others involved–not just in community events–but also in national and international discussions or organizations that directly effect the ‘green movement’.”
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The Groundswell Collective
“Groundswell is a loose affiliation of critical cultural producers who work at the intersection of art and activism.”
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History of Graphic Design
Lecture topics 2008
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Holocaust Portfolio
“Holocaust Portfolio is a project of the heart and is dedicated to the myriad of souls whose physical existence was desectrated by the Nazi terror.” — Martin Mendelsberg
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“Icograda (the International Council of Graphic Design Associations) is the world body for professional communication design. Founded in 1963, it is a voluntary assembly of associations concerned with graphic design, visual communication, design management, promotion, education, research and journalism. Icograda promotes communication designers' vital role in society and commerce and unifies the voices of graphic designers and visual communicators worldwide.”
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“A project of Action Without Borders; Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”
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Implementing Designism
“An exploration of the role of designer/photographer as social activist.”
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“Jumo is a social network connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world.”
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Making Policy Public
“[Center for Urban Pedagogy's] new series of fold-out posters uses innovative graphic design to explore and explain public policy. Making Policy Public is published twice a year, and each poster is the product of a commissioned collaboration between a designer and an advocate.”
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Massive Change
“Explores paradigm-shifting events, ideas, and people, investigating the capacities and ethical dilemmas of design in manufacturing, transportation, urbanism, warfare, health, living, energy, markets, materials, the image and information.”
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“For the sixth year now, the organizers of Memefest, a ‘festival of radical communication,’ are encouraging students, professionals, artists and activists alike to contribute their talents to our collective counter-culture. … our organization is founded upon and nurtured by the hope for change.”
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Mother Jones Website
“Mother Jones is an independent nonprofit whose roots lie in a commitment to social justice implemented through first rate investigative reporting.”
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Net Impact
“An international nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a positive impact on society by growing and strengthening a community of new leaders who use business to improve the world. We offer a portfolio of programs to educate, equip, and inspire more than 10,000 members to make a tangible difference in their universities, organizations, and communities.”
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“Social advertising and non-profit campaigns from around the globe.”
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Positive Posters
“Positive Posters is an international poster design campaign targeted at graphic design students, professionals and illustrators. The project aims to publish posters across cities around the world that communicate a positive social message. The project also aims to foster a dialogue between design and the greater community, engaging social issues together!”

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Project M

“To inspire young graphic designers, writers, photographers and filmmakers by proving that their work can have a positive and significant impact on the world.”

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PSA Central
“PSA Central makes it easy to browse and preview current PSA materials for Ad Council campaigns.”

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The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
“The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation inspires people to practice kindness and to “pass it on” to others. We provide free educational and community ideas, guidance, and other resources to kindness participants through our website.”
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“Re-nourish is dedicated to helping the graphic design community grow into a more sustainable industry. Whatever your experience level, you can use our tools and information to expand your knowledge and build a more sustainable practice.”
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Social Design Notes
“A Web log of notes and clippings on design and the public interest.”
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Social Design Site
“Aims to foster a discourse on social design through our international online platform and the organization of and participation in projects, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, etc.”
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Social Lab
“The Social Lab is a space where people can develop concepts to address social change.”
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Speak Up
“Speak Up is an author-based, reader-supported community devoted to graphic design open to conversation and dialogue. It stresses and questions the importance of the profession in our culture”

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Stay Free! Daily
“Media criticism, consumer culture, & Brooklyn curiosities for Stay Free! Magazine.”

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Stephan Siegmeister—Chapter #2: Touch the heart w/design
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Sustainable is Good
“Welcome to Sustainable is Good where we cover all aspects of sustainable packaging including new innovations, branding, marketing, materials and companies.”

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TED: Ideas worth spreading
“Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers.”
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Thought Leadership by Design

“Thought Leadership by Design is a concise, timeless volume of contemporary quotes on the powerful, evolving nature of Design and its vital influence on society, business, technology, education, and most importantly: Everyday life.”
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Tree Hugger

“TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.”
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Under Consideration
“A growing network and enterprise dedicated to the progress of the graphic design profession and its practitioners, students and enthusiasts. At times intangible, its purpose is to question, push, analyze and agitate graphic design and those involved in the profession.”
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UNEP Sustainable Consumption
“UNEP intends to involve representatives of the sector from all parts of the world. Advertisers, advertising agencies, media and relevant associations are invited to provide their experience and support, exchange information and co-operate to promote sustainable consumption.”
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“I started this magazine as an outlet for my critique of the culture I have grown up in. I see instability all around me as the American lifestyle becomes more and more unsustainable. I am inspired by others like me who see revolution and a redesign of society on the horizon, and I hope that through unplug I can explore the problems I see and their possible solutions.”—Megan Prusynski
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Urban Forest Project
“The Urban Forest Project is a series of unprecedented outdoor banner exhibitions taking root in cities around the world. In each location, artists, designers, students and the general public will employ the idea or form of the tree to make a powerful visual statement on banners that will be displayed throughout the community.”
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We Are What We Do
“We Are What We Do is a new kind of movement inspiring people to change the world one small action at a time.”
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World Changing: Change your Thinking
“WorldChanging.com works from a simple premise: that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us.”
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Worthwhile Films
“Worthwhile Films produces documentary and educational video and other media programming with and for virtuous nonprofit organizations, benign government agencies, and other worthwhile causes.”
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Yossi Lemel
“Israeli political poster designer.”
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If you are aware of a website that would be useful to educators wanting to incorporate social responsibility into their Visual Communications coursework, please let us know.

last update: 01.14