• Colin Willox, 7 months ago

    Kyle, I'm inspired by your question! I finally made an account just so I could comment :) I'm a product designer and user researcher in Berlin.

    I've been / am in the same position as you: have worked with good people at decent startups, agencies and larger companies but didn't find the work intrinsically motivating. I want to help people and think design can be a powerful force for change.

    To that end I've done quite a bit of research on the topic of "design for good" or whatever you might want to call it. Here's what I've come up with so far:

    • Work for an agency that focuses on these kinds of projects, like Radish Lab.
    • Work for any company that has a mission you believe in. For example, if you're into health, one of Berlin's solid startups, Clue, has an opening right now. Another Berlin startup in this area is Ada. A more known example would be Headspace.
    • Work at a hospital. There are some, especially in developed countries, hiring designers to work with them. For example, the Toronto General Hospital has an in-house 'agency' of sorts: Healthcare Human Factors.
    • Consider working on a product that may not be directly "for good" itself, but would ease the pain of many people with better design. Some examples: financial tools (banking, taxes), transportation (ride sharing, public transit), or anything that many people use frequently.

    Some others mentioned these already:

    • Work for a B Corp.
    • Work for the government (some others mentioned NHS in the UK).
    • Work for a non-profit, like Acumen.
    • Work for the non-profit branch of a for-profit, like IDEO.org and OpenIDEO.

    I've also subscribed to a couple newsletters I find helpful:

    If you're particularly interested in the healthcare topic, then you can check out a post I wrote about this recently. I dive further into it, including Masters programs in Europe and books to read.

    Hope it helps!

    1 point
    • Kyle Greely, 7 months ago

      Hi Colin,

      Thanks for your awesome reply. I'm going to check out a few of those links, especially the newsletters! :)

      Honestly, the more I research into this stuff, the more I am realizing how much of it is happening in Berlin or London. So it's looking extremely likely that I'll have to leave France and move to Berlin. I plan on applying to some positions there as well as in the UK. Maybe I'll see you around eventually, haha.

      I love the post you wrote on Medium! Lots of helpful information in there. I'm glad there's another human out there who felt the same way I do about all this! Working in an agency right now, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who are just lying to themselves about how "cool" and "impactful" their work is. I don't understand it!

      Cheers, Kyle

      1 point