At the heart of UX for Good are the social challenges – each a complex system of moving parts, conflicting motivations, outdated assumptions and inertia. Each requires a fresh perspective and an innovative approach to unleash change. We believe that user experience design can provide that perspective and approach. We are honored and humbled to be partnering with five groundbreaking organizations in tackling these critical challenges.
Challenge 1: Unemployment
It’s hard to believe, but there are men and women who don’t qualify for government or social service job training. Either because they don’t have the remedial skills necessary or because they have no means of support while they’re being trained. To address this challenge, we partnered with Streetwise, an organization that provides immediate, no-barrier access to income. Unfortunately, Streetwise faces its own challenges: unused capacity and an economic engine constructed from outmoded parts.
- Follow Streetwise on Twitter: @streetwise_chi
- Read more about the Unemployment challenge
- Download the Unemployment challenge brief
Challenge 2: Urban Violence
The news media calls attention to the 1-2% of those who commit the most violent acts in our “hardest-hit” communities, without considering the other 98-99% of community members. To address this challenge, we partnered with CeaseFire Illinois, an organization that addresses urban violence as an epidemic – focusing on the highest-risk members of those communities. CeaseFire’s methods have been proven successful, but we also addressed those who actively or tacitly encourage violence to affect large-scale social change.
- Follow CeaseFire Illinois on Twitter: @ceasefire_il
- Read more about the Urban Violence challenge
- Download the Urban Violence challenge brief
Challenge 3: Public Education
Everybody knows the US educational system is slipping in global rankings. But we don’t talk enough about what we’re training our children for – an industrialized, state-centric economy rather than an interconnected world that places a higher premium on collaboration and adaptability. To address this challenge, we partnered with The Third Teacher, a collection of innovative education thinkers who consult around the world on learning environments and curricula. The change we need is not incremental, but fundamental and system-wide.
- Follow Third Teacher on Twitter: @thethirdteacher
- Read more about he Public Education challenge
- Download the Public Education challenge brief
Challenge 4: Community Mental Health
Concurrent with Sigmund Freud, there was another model for psychology: trained professionals promoting social bonds and advancing community health. But Freud and his followers grabbed the spotlight, popularizing the idea that mental health was best addressed individual-by-individual. To address this challenge, we’re partnered with the Adler School of Professional Psychology, a graduate school that emphasizes social engagement and inclusion. We know bonds are key to our health as individuals and communities, and we re-thought a system that ties psychology to the couch in a wood-paneled office.
- Follow The Adler School on Twitter: @theadlerschool
- Read more about the Community Mental Health challenge
- Download the Community Mental Health challenge brief
Challenge 5: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Any of us would help a stranger who fell down in front of us. But our world has expanded well beyond our innate capacity for empathy, making it much less likely that we would help a stranger in a far-away land. To address this challenge, we partnered with the Global Lives Project, a media initiative to bring us up close to people on the other side of the world – in hopes of encouraging more enlightened economic, foreign, domestic and environmental policies. Scaling empathy is now essential.
- Follow Global Lives Project on Twitter: @globallives
- Read more about the Cross-Cultural Understanding challenge
- Download the Cross-Cultural Understanding challenge brief