About

About the site:

This website is intended to be a collection of knowledge and resources dedicated to design for social impact, focused specifically on addressing issues facing developing communities and the ‘base of the pyramid’—the several billion people around the world who live on less than $2 per day and are often in need of even the basic necessities that many of us take for granted.

The idea for this blog started as a way for me to dig into this topic, learning more while sharing my knowledge publicly in the hopes that others might benefit from it too.  Inviting (moderated) contributions from others will allow it to be a fuller resource than I can provide by myself—my intention is for this to be a curated collaborative resource.  After some time, if it turns out that there’s enough interest in a blog like this to grow, I’d love to take it to the next level with funding, staff and supporters as a major voice in the global conversation on design for social impact, developing communities and the BOP.

I invite you to please, share your knowledge.  Fuller instructions are on the “Contribute” page, but please feel free to add comments throughout the site, send me links, resources or your own blog posts by email, and add to the conversation on Twitter (@BOPdesigner).  The more this is a collective, collaborative effort, the better and fuller a resource it will be for everyone.  So please, add your voice!

About me:

My name is Dave Foster.  I’m a social impact designer and design strategist, though I’m still trying to find out if those are even the right names for it all.  I’m passionate about helping people, especially those in the most need, through the creation of insightful, innovative, meaningful and effective solutions to the challenges they face.

I am the former managing editor of the AshokaTECH blog, which provides the inspiration for BOP Designer. I’ll draw from past experience while pushing forward to see what else we can do to create a platform for knowledge and discussion.

I earned two degrees in advertising only to leave advertising behind and pursue social entrepreneurship, sustainability and the next big ideas for solving big do-gooder problems.  And I’ve loved every minute of it.  I still used what I learned in school every day, just in different context.  I learned how to think critically and creatively to solve problems, and gained a deeper understanding of “design” as a mindset and a tool to pick up a problem, look at it from all angles, take it apart and put it back together again, only better.

Over the last six years, I’ve joined, started, helped and advised a number of for-profit, non-profit and mixed-format ventures (see my portfolio website for details), working to support, improve or invent new products, services and systems that help make the world a better place in their own niches.  But I’ve almost always operated from an office or an agency, at desks and in front of my computer screen.  AshokaTECH gave me a great introduction, and now I’m looking to take things further.  I’m itching to get into the communities themselves, to think and sweat and work with people who could use an extra hand and another perspective to create great solutions to the challenges they face.  So I’m actively seeking new work and volunteer opportunities wherever they might be available. At the same time, I’ll be using this blog to learn more, spark discussion and provide a resource for anyone out there who could use it.

If this blog can be a helpful resource to a handful of people, I’m excited about that.  If it can benefit even more, even better.  I look forward to the conversation ahead.

You can find me at:

Email: dave [at] bopdesigner [dot] com
Twitter: @BOPdesigner / @thedavefoster
Portfolio: www.davefoster.info