• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

A Better World by Design

A Better World by Design is a three-day internationally acclaimed conference held annually at Brown & RISD campuses in Providence, RI that connects over 1,000 students and professionals from a variety of disciplines in order to build a global community of socially conscious and passionate innovators.

Thanks to the Starr Fellowship, our team will work in Providence over the summer of 2013 to build stronger strategic relationships, improve our institutional structure, and ultimately build a better, more creative conference. We will have the dedicated time to think and work creatively, solve new problems and institutionalize the solutions to old challenges.

As we enter our sixth year, we are spreading our ideology through the northeast, the nation, and around the world. With the support of the Swearer Center's Social Innovation Initiative, we will have the time and energy to grow A Better World by Design to be an even more creative, dynamic organization.



Personal Statement 

My high school vision of a better world was environmental protection and improvement via channels of activism and protest. This dedication to environmental protection has never wavered, but a town-wide project in my village of Damariscotta, Maine did change my view of what is a better world, and how best to achieve it.

The project was a charrette report and a movement to implement Smart Codes# for our town. Through public forums, meetings and workshops, citizens worked out what path they wanted our town to take over the next century. As a student, I worked as a youth coordinator, ensuring that this long term planning did not overlook the fact that these decisions would be inherited by the younger generation.

I saw how strong planning can create a community where environmental protection is woven into the fabric, and this realization was exciting. The larger impact of Damariscotta's new Smart Codes, demonstrated that a better world is not only a better environment. A better world is a better community which recognizes that long term stability is dependent upon the sustainability of the community. In response to my work in Damariscotta, my view of a better world shrank from a global one, to a very local one, and I saw how important it is to not forget the importance of community in the face of global problems.