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My birthday is May 7. It was supposed to be June 30.

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Most people are still, unfortunately, mystified by design and designers. Among the most egregious misconceptions: that our profession is defined solely by aesthetics and decoration; that practitioners tend to be "moody, erratic, eccentric, and arrogant;" and that we even require specific management methods to function properly in organizations. Too often these misconceptions and more lead to design being confined to a frivolous box that separates us from other fields and limits the scope of our impact.

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Like many who read GOOD, I’ve been fascinated by the explosion of design projects that explicitly work toward positive social impact. I saw this rise of so-called "social impact design" firsthand as development manager at Public Architecture, where I built programs, wrote grants, and contributed to books highlighting this work. But now that I'm back in school working toward a masters of architecture, I've realized that there are precious few opportunities to actually build a career around social impact design.

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In recent years, civic innovation fellowships have shown great promise to improve the relationships between citizens and government. In the United States, Code for America and the Presidential Innovation Fellows have demonstrated the positive impact a small group of technologists can have working hand-in-hand with government. With the launch of Code for All, Code for Europe, Code4Kenya, and Code4Africa, among others, the model is going global.

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