AIGA conference highlights designers' role in creating social value

At “Gain” in San Francisco, visionaries share how designers make a bigger impact through business

Gain_TileNEW YORK—September 13, 2012. Social impact, sustainability, CSR, shared value—no matter what you call it, the impact of business on society is a hot topic, and for good reason. Consumers are demanding increased accountability, and businesses are realizing that their long-term viability rests upon their ability to serve the needs of stakeholders at every level. “Gain: AIGA Design for Social Value Conference” takes this conversation to center stage in the design world, on October 9–10 in San Francisco.

Communication designers are known for their creativity, empathy, vision and unique perspective, working with clients to produce print communications, interaction design, experience design and service design. Moderated by Fast Company Co.Exist Editor Morgan Clendaniel, AIGA’s “Gain” conference will present case studies that demonstrate how designers can apply their unique skill set to social impact work with clients.

AIGA has long been a leader in advocating for designers’ abilities, through programs such as “Design for Good” and “The Living Principles for Design.” This fall’s conference is the next step in that evolution, bringing business leaders together with design visionaries to learn together how to improve the world around us.

Speakers at “Gain” include:

  • Justin Ahrens, principal of Rule29, whose collaborative approach to both strategy and design has fostered a culture that encourages involvement in social causes
  • Banny Banerjee, director of Stanford ChangeLabs—a platform for research on large-scale transformation, an incubator for initiatives and one node of a global network of institutions working on systemic transformations
  • Gaby Brink, founder and chief designer of Tomorrow and founder of Sparkwise, co-author of “The Living Principles for Design,” the first integrated framework to provide a systems approach to environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability for designers of all disciplines
  • Robert Fabricant, vice president of creative at frog design, who leads Project Masiluleke, an initiative that harnesses the power of mobile technology to combat the world’s worst HIV and AIDS epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Rich Hollant, principal and design director of co:lab, which works exclusively with nonprofits, communities, corporations and enterprises committed to social profit
  • Patrice Martin, co-lead and creative director of, the nonprofit organization started by IDEO to address poverty-related challenges through design and to encourage the use of human-centered innovation in the social sector
  • Ravi Naidoo, founder and managing director of Interactive Africa and Design Indaba, who established an initiative to solve hyper-local social problems with creative design solutions
  • Emily Pilloton, founder and executive director of Project H Design, who believes in design as an honest process of building and activism for community benefit.
  • Susana Rodríguez de Tembleque, executive creative director of SYPartners, who leads her team of multidisciplinary designers to conceptualize and then bring to life rare and transformative strategies, stories and ideas
  • Leslie Ziegler, chief evangelist at Rock Health, a San Francisco–based incubator for early-stage digital health start-ups

Learn more about all of the speakers, the schedule and everything happening at “Gain” at

About AIGA

AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA today serves more than 22,000 members through 66 chapters and 200 student groups across the United States. AIGA stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. Learn more at

For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Bender, director of communications and marketing
AIGA | the professional association for design