iF has revealed the recipients of the first round of the 2019 Social Impact Prize. Twice a year, iF donates a total of EUR 50,000 to exceptional projects that tackle the most urgent challenges facing our society.
"The iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE is very close to our hearts. Together with our student award, the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD, it is our contribution to the common good all around the world," commented Ralph Wiegmann, iF Managing Director. "People and their involvement are key - and we honor them by giving them a platform through the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE, where they can share their ideas for solving social challenges. For us, it is also important to highlight the role that design can play in addressing urgent social issues."
To date, a total of 776 social projects from over 50 countries have been submitted for the iF Social Impact Prize by companies, design studios, NGOs, charities and public and private institutions.
2019 Social Impact Prize Recipients
Bee My Job
'Bee My Job' is an Italian beekeeping training and mediation program for refugees and asylum seekers. It offers displaced people the chance to learn a skill, get to know local people and integrate in society through work. The initiative is run by the charity Cambalache in Alessandria, around 100 km north of the port city of Genoa. Since the charity was set up in 2014, it has trained a total of 170 beekeepers and arranged 106 work placements. The income from the honey produced goes towards funding the project. As well as economic integration, the main focus of the project is on promoting social integration.
Nashulai Maasai Conservancy
In the face of growing poverty and the loss of biological diversity, the land of the Maasai and the wild animals that live there is under severe threat. In 2016, the Nashulai Maasai Conservancy was the first indigenous reserve to be set up in East Africa. It covers an area of 6,000 acres. Fences that normally separate humans from wild animals were removed to create a traditional, holistic land usage model: cows, sheep and goats graze alongside elephants, rhinoceros and gazelles - just as the Maasai lived in centuries gone by. The land is monitored to ensure that there is always enough food and water for all. The project and its mission "Protect wildlife - preserve culture - fight poverty" has already inspired other communities to make similar changes.
End FGM once and for all
More than 200 million girls and women suffer from genital mutilation. And every year another 3.5 million girls are added to this number against their will. Female genital mutilation (FGM) has nothing to do with religion, culture or tradition. It is an unacceptable crime. The human rights activist and supermodel Waris Dirie has been fighting against this crime for years. At the age of five, she herself was the victim of FGM. Together with the British label Coco de Mer and the photographer Rankin, Waris and her Desert Flower Foundation have declared war on FGM: "Our mission is to eradicate FGM and empower women to lead self-determined lives."
Design Meets Fa.vela
The favelas in Brazil are the result of extremely unfair wealth distribution. Fa.vela is Brazil's first business accelerator based in the favelas and works together with low-income communities. The project "Design Meets Fa.vela" aims to develop visual identities for companies - all on a voluntary basis! In the last three years, 90 brand identities have been created. The logos have been produced by the city's best designers. Thousands of people benefit directly from the project, just by taking into account family members and the number of jobs created.
Echo100Plus is an Austrian NGO that has been involved for years with Greece and the refugees stranded there. In October 2016 the initiative set up the Echo-Hub-Leros - a community and education center on the island of Leros. A team of professional teachers and volunteers looks after the needs of displaced people here: starting with first aid measures and moving on to educational, professional and leisure activities. A special school project offers meaningful daily employment as well as valuable training in various areas. The main aim of Echo100Plus is to prepare schoolchildren for a successful start in their new life.
Photo: Bee My Job