Creating Positive Impact Through Design

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Academy Xi

48 Druitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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How do companies create and achieve positive impact through design?

Designing for positive impact means creating better solutions than the ones that already exist. But, it’s not as simple as wanting to improve design, because some improvements may come at a cost.

According to Chirryl-Lee Ryan, transdisciplinary entrepreneur, “For all the good than can come from design, much of what is made comes at the expense of something else: resources, time, money, culture, attention, energy, or worst case, the well-being of people. Designing for impact is a big responsibility.”

It’s precisely this responsibility that not every entrepreneur or designer is prepared to take on.

So, which companies are currently doing it right? Where are the designs that are making a real-world, positive impact?

Who Gives A Crap, the Australian startup that sells environmentally friendly toilet paper to build toilets in the developing world, is a company that’s creating positive impact through design (as well as having the best name ever).

Their funky and fun toilet paper rolls are made from 100 percent recycled fibres, bamboo, and sugarcane — saving water, carbon emissions, and trees. While selling environmentally friendly toilet paper may seem like their bread and butter, Who Gives A Crap also donates 50 percent of their profits to build toilets for those in need; it’s this initiative that separates them from the rest.

This is just one example of many Aussie companies that are creating positive impacts both on a local and global scale. To learn more about how companies are designing for good, come to our event Creating Positive Impact Through Design.

We’ve put together a panel of expert minds on this topic who will share their first-hand experiences on designing for positive impact. Joining us will be: Regional Design Director APAC for Fjord and Fjord Evolution, Andy Polaine; Transdisciplinary Design Practitioner, Chirryl-Lee Ryan; Sydney General Manager at Today, Kelsey Schwynn; and Founder of Humana Design, Gerry Scullion.


Andy Polaine

Regional Design Director APAC for Fjord and Fjord Evolution

Dr. Andy Polaine is a Design Director at the global design and innovation consultancy Fjord. He divides his time between client work and Fjord Evolution and has been involved in interaction design since the early 90s. Andy was also the Co-founder of the award-winning media group, Antirom, in London.

Prior to Fjord, Andy was a Creative Producer at Razorfish, in the UK and then became the Interactive Director at Animal Logic in Sydney.

In addition to being a Design Director and Creative Producer, Andy has found the time to write over 160 articles and papers on design and is the co-author of the book Service Design: From Insight to Implementation.

Chirryl-Lee Ryan

Transdisciplinary Design Practitioner, Mentor, and Leader

Chirryl-Lee Ryan is a Transdisciplinary design practitioner, mentor, and leader. In merging different design disciplines, Chirryl-Lee is able to produce radical design approaches with innovative and human-centered outcomes. This design approach ultimately helps to invent and create things that can change the world.

Chirryl-Lee’s vision is that everyone can live better lives through design and her mission is to arm as many people as possible with the skills, tools, and confidence they need to dream big and shape the future.

Kelsey Schwynn

Sydney General Manager at Today

Kelsey is the General Manager for Today’s Sydney studio. She has a background in product strategy and business design, having worked at large agencies in the US, including Frog Design, Huge, and IBM. She is passionate about human-centred design and volunteers with organisations that teach the tenets of design thinking to young people.

Kelsey has a deep love for all things Service Design and making a positive, measurable impact through her work. Kelsey has instigated Today’s design approach to ensure every project created delivers on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Gerry Scullion

Founder of Humana Design

Gerry is the Founder of Humana Design, a strategic design consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. He is an Industrial Designer and has 15 years consulting design experience across a range of industries including, government, medical, financial, social media, publishing, advertising, and design.

In 2016, Gerry also contributed to the book This is Service Design Doing, which focuses on effective prototyping and embedding Service Design teams within organisations. He is also Founder and host of human-centred design podcast,

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Academy Xi

48 Druitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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