Social Impact Design

Microplastics-Sensing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

This drone can detect and analyze microplastics and enable scientists to understand where they are originating from, where they are most prominent and how to prevent them from contaminating our waters.

Designed by: Jordan Nollman, Jason Wilbur, Rich Orsini, Matt Bettencourt of Sprout Studios and Robert de Saint Phalle for Draper

Contact: Email I Website

Mobile thermoelectric refrigerator

This cost-efficient low-energy mobile refrigerator allows villages in India (the world’s leading milk producer) to store their milk overnight and transport it up to 15 miles to pasteurization facilities.

Designed by: Jordan Nollman, Jason Wilbur, Rich Orsini, Matt Bettencourt of Sprout Studios and Robert de Saint Phalle for Draper

Contact: Email I Website

USee: Vision Screening and Prescription Glasses for All

An estimated 2.5 billion people have vision issues correctable with prescription eyeglasses. In developing regions, access to vision care is minimal with roughly one optometrist for every 1 million people. The USee Vision Kit system works through existing local organizations and infrastructure to meet this need. The USee is a portable self-refractive screening tool with variable curvature lenses. As the lenses move vertically in the frame, the prescription viewed through the slit changes. The user simply rotates the dials until they can see clearly. The dial tip aligns with a color-coded number that indicates which lenses to select from the kit. The lenses easily snap into the durable, lightweight frames. The process takes 15 minutes and delivers prescription glasses for less than $5 per pair. This simplicity enables larger-scale vision care by vastly expanding the number of individuals capable of identifying blurry vision and providing prescription eyeglasses.

Designed by: Brian Everett, John Church, and Jane Spikowski of PolyOne IQ Design for Global Vision 2020

Contact: Email | Website


Sympfiny is a system for dosing and oral delivery of multi-particulate, dry powder and microsphere drug formulations in low-resource settings. According to the World Health Organization, almost 3 million children needlessly die from pneumonia and diarrhea each year. Drugs for the treatment of pneumonia are available in developing countries, but not in the recommended dose or formulation. Multi-particulates, nano-sized bead-like drug formulations akin to microspheres, can solve this problem. However, the delivery of multi-particulate drugs to children has previously required unfamiliar procedures and limited one-size-fits-all doses. Sympfiny eliminates these problems because it uses the same method of dosing as traditional oral syringes.

Designed by: HS Design in partnership with Röchling Medical

Contact: Email | Website


In 2016, i-LINK founder Chen Shibin spent the summer with local children in the Naqu region of the Tibet Autonomous Region. He noticed that children wore unsuitable shoes, or even no shoes, which severely affected their foot health. Therefore, the i-LINK program was established. Every Duozoulu store continuously donates shoes to a corresponding school in impoverished regions. The program hopes to break geographic distance and establish a true connection with the children to bring them closer to the world with love. 

Designed by: Moonwk Culture Technology Co., Ltd

Contact: Email


HODOHKUN Guideway is a soft rubber mat used to guide visually impaired people through an interior space. They can recognize the route by feeling the difference between the surface of the mat and the surrounding floor using their foot or cane. Also, since the surface is flat and smooth, wheelchair and stroller users, people who have difficulty walking, the elderly and others can safely pass over it. The color of the mat can be modified to match the surrounding environment for people with low vision. 

Designed by: Takahiro Yamada of Ripple Effect Inc. for Kinjo Rubber Co., Ltd.

Contact: Email | Website

Hacking STEM

Microsoft Hacking STEM provides affordable inquiry and project-based activities that use everyday materials to visualize data across science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. Middle school standards-based lesson plans written by teachers for teachers.

Designed by: Microsoft Hacking STEM Team


Stone Cold Systems – Iceless Vaccine Refrigerator

Current vaccine storage and delivery technologies use unreliable ice-based cooling technologies that freeze the vaccines and result in huge waste. The Stone Cold Systems Electric-10 is an actively cooled ice-less cold-storage device with no risk of freezing. It uses thermoelectric cooling technology to keep vaccines cool, and is powered by a high-performance battery that can be charged by a variety of power sources such as AC mains, DC from vehicles and solar panels.

Designed by: Robert Miros, IDSA, Barley Forsman, James McCrea, Jaquelyn Miyatake and Ramji Rengarajan for 3rd Stone Design Inc.


Play Possible: School Edition

Based on 10 years of research, Play Possible is a deck of cards that presents a framework for applied creativity with more than 45 forms of play possibilities. Each card defines and describes why that specific play element is a power, particularly for a future that requires increased creativity, flexibility and adaptation. Each card provides analogous examples of the play element and provocations to help students and teachers understand and leverage the power in a tangible real-world way. Ultimately, the deck of cards invites participants to create change in themselves and the world through the power of play.

Designed by: Laura Seargeant Richardson and Martha L. Fierro of argodesign for the Kirkwood School District in Kirkwood, MO



The Haechi is a handheld mobile device for public safety and disaster relief operations, integrating the functionality of a digital two-way radio and a smartphone to deliver secure and resilient voice communication and enable coordinated responses between police, paramedics, fire crews and the military in the event of a disaster. Public Safety LTE is a telecommunications technology for reliable and fast communications in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery efforts. Haechi establishes a converged common network dedicated to 330 public safety agencies nationwide for prompt emergency response

Designed by: Sunwoong Ham and Hakdo Kim of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.