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Catapult receives grant to support entrepreneurial design event on the Navajo Nation

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Catapult Design, a product and service design firm based in San Francisco, is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Catapult Design’s grant will support the expansion of its design and innovation education program to the Navajo Nation in Arizona. In 2012 Catapult
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Five Skills Designers Have That Global Development Needs

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“Development is being disrupted,” says Raj Kumar, President of DevEx, a site devoted to helping the international development community deliver foreign aid more efficiently and effectively. Beyond the buzz generated by the “social entrepreneurship” and “impact investing” communities, I’ve seen a significant shift coming from traditional aid agencies in the past two years. In 2010,
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“Reaching the doorsteps of the poor” with Living Goods

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Photo by Living Goods To appreciate companies like Living Goods, you have to transport yourself to a world without Walmart, UPS, or a local Walgreens pharmacy. Imagine if in order to purchase an item as simple as soap, you had to spend more money on transport than the cost of the product alone, not to mention the time spent away from productive work. As Chuck Slaughter points out in a recent art
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What Do You Have in Common with a Low-Income Indian Mother? More Than You Think

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Photo Courtesy of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Imagine this: You wake up early, as always, to prepare breakfast for your family. Wiping the sleep from your eyes you shuffle to the kitchen and light the stove—out comes billowing black smoke that immediately fills the room. Business as usual. You put on a pot of water to boil porridge. Your 3-year-old is now awake and comes over to w
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Think Like MacGuyver: Creative Resilience in the Developing World

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Hulu.com   Raise your hand if you’re familiar with the TV show MacGyver. The main character is truly a phenomenal human being. The plot of the 60-minute show is pretty consistent: He’s a secret agent whose specialty is finagling himself out of the most impossible situations. He had an uncanny ability of taking everyday objects from his immediate surroundings and transforming them to s
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Our top ten must-reads of 2012

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We culled our twitter feed and picked out the best of the best from 2012.  Read on for links to new tools, resources, and thought pieces on design and social entrepreneurship. DESIGN + SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP PIECES 1.  Fast Company asks: "Do Designers Exploit the Poor While Trying to Do Good?" http://bit.ly/zKuQzT  2.  Niti Bahn identifies what is missing in designing for the next b
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Catapult, Davos bound!

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We're heading to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos, Switzerland this January 2013.  Not only that, we're joining: Jeanne Bourgault, President, Internews Theaster Gates, Director, Arts and Public Life Initiative, The University of Chicago Caroline Watson, Director and Founder, Hua Dan Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art
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Creating Iconic Design Tools with the Noun Project

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Ever needed an obscure icon for your infographic? Need to make a universally understandable sign? Only have 20minutes to contextualize your product visualisation with a simple picture? Do you dig Pictionary? Or are you sick of battling with watermarks or creating amorphous stick figure monster icons? Check out The Noun Project, an iconic phenomenon that is a platform for creating and sharing a gl
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Opportunities for accessing clean water in rural communities

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  Last week we kicked off our second program with The Ihangane Project exploring the multifaceted world of access to clean water for a small village two-hours outside of Kigali.  The program took us back to Rwanda where team members Karin Carter and Heather Fleming trekked through the hilly, lush terrain in the pouring rain to spend some time in the homes of families living on as little a
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Design Skills and Life

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Image: ISTOCKPHOTO/MATTJEACOCK As Catapult becomes more established I find us giving more and more talks to larger and larger groups in which we emphasize the value of the skills and methods designers bring to the problems they tackle. And we’re not alone; the design community at large daily espouses such important “methods” as building empathy, listening, and observation. We all talk abou

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