Designed by Democracy

At the Social Design Network, designers and activists are invited to address social issues through competitive design.

High design has always been accessible to the rich-think of all the finely crafted $4,000 side tables transplanted to Manhattan apartments from Milan showrooms. But is the creative genius behind such pieces wasted on minimalist, million-dollar SoHo lofts? What if that talent could be redirected to design projects of broad social value? These are the questions at the heart of the Social Design Network, a new online community where designers and activists are invited to address social issues through design.In a series of competitions, network members compete to create products that resolve critical contemporary problems: a publicity campaign to raise awareness about global warming, for example. The brainchild of Felissimo, an international corporation known for its lifestyle products as well as its commitment to charity, the project is an offshoot of the company's ongoing design com-petition, held in collaboration with UNESCO.In recent years, the company began to notice a trend in submissions for its Design 21 award. "More and more, our entries were addressing social issues, as opposed to simply presenting beautiful objects," says Haruko Smith, the director of Felissimo's U.S. branch. As winners devised homeless shelters or board games to promote cultural understanding, the company came to recognize the need for a network that might bridge the gap between the organizations that support causes and the people with the design expertise to provide smart solutions. Entries for the awareness campaign and two other competitions, are due in June."We want to explore ways to use design so that it contributes to solving problems," says Smith, "and transforms our love and dreams into tangible social forms and systems."Submissions for the Design 21 SDN logo competition, including the winning entry:

CURRENT COMPETITIONS 1. Create a global warming awareness campaign.2. Create an imaginative, affordable children's toy.3. Design a temporary emergency shelter.LEARN MORE

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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