FOR GOOD… (working title) – a limited series for public television
Board of Advisors
Mariana Amatullo Lee Davis, Debera Johnson,
Vice President, Scholar-in-Residence, Executive Director,
Designmatters, Center for Social Design, Pratt Institute Center
Art Center College Maryland Institute College of Art for Sustainable Design Studies
Paola Antonelli Krista Donaldson, Tim Prestero,
Senior Curator, CEO, D-Rev CEO, Design that Matters
Architecture & Design,
The Museum of Modern Art
John Cary Robert Fabricant, Kevin Starr,
Executive Director, VP, Creative, Managing Director,
Autodesk Impact frog design The Mulago Foundation
Valerie Casey Patrice Martin,
Executive Director, Co-Lead + Creative
Designers Accord Director, IDEO.org
The global consumer culture demands an endless stream of products and
services for anyone with money and a desire to have the latest gadgets,
fashions, and lifestyle. For most people, design is related to these retail
So, who would want a simple solar still, made from terracotta, that can
produce drinkable water from salt water? What about a foot-powered
clothes washer/drier? Or a landmine detonator, made from bamboo and
biodegradable plastics, that operates like tumbleweed in the wind? Or a
simple treadle pump that can irrigate one acre of farmland?
There are millions of people around the world – the vast majority of people
– for whom these innovations would be life changing. A new movement
of designers is responding to the needs of people in poverty.
Everyone on earth is a consumer; all people have wants and needs. In
recent years, a new business model has emerged to serve the needs of
people without disposable income and communities in distress. For
Good… (working title) will be a limited public television series that reveals
the stimulating and innovative world of the people working in this exciting
part of the global economy. There are many names for it: “social impact
design”, “socially responsible design”, “public interest design”, “humancentered
design”, but they all refer to the same basic initiative – to design
solutions for a public or human problem. The designers of these products
and services work for non-profit as well as for-profit ventures, but their
calling is to tackle problems and develop solutions where the mainstream
business model has little or no incentive.
What is design? This simple question is the essential ingredient of every
episode of For Good… As we show how a social impact design team
works to solve a problem, viewers will see that using a set of design
principles that are not always part of the standard business model can
develop solutions that clearly improve quality of life. In each segment of
the series, designers must analyze the needs of their consumers, the
social environment in which their product or system will be used, the
economics of this social environment, the cost and feasibility of deploying
their solutions, as well as technological and manufacturing issues.
Mainstream product development also follows many of these same
workflows, but social impact designers have another imperative: they put
the profit motive on the back burner and put people up front. The energy
and dedication of these inspired but pragmatic idealists will present the
audience with a positive outlook and demonstrate that powerful results can
be achieved against intractable problems.
What drives social impact designers? What motivates these passionate,
committed people to pursue their work, knowing that they could probably
earn much higher salaries in a mainstream business? Many of the criteria
utilized by practitioners of socially responsible design are also at the leading
edge of sustainability thinking for the future of the planet. Since their marketplace
must operate on a lower financial scale, these designers are deeply concerned
with energy efficiency, low cost, durability, and prevention of negative environmental impacts. Social impact design is a laboratory working on the fringes of our current
economy but could well be the mainstream methodology for economic growth in a
socially just, humane, and sustainable future.
Telling these fascinating stories of human-centered endeavor will allow a large
audience to understand the value of utilizing design ideas to make the world a better
place for everyone, including people who are not the target consumers of global
business interests. As we approach planetary limitations on population, temperature, pollution and resources, social impact design will provide a treasure trove of experience
for the crafting of smart, effective global solutions.
For Good… will utilize a lively, magazine-style format to profile innovators and projects, while following the efforts of designers from inspiration to implementation.
Examples of projects the series may cover include:
ReMotion Knee, a durable, high performance prosthetic knee joint, designed by the
nonprofit D-Rev, is 1/10th the cost of comparable knee joints. Globally, over 30 million people need mobility devices such as prosthetics, but 80% cannot afford typical ones.
The MoneyMaker Hip Pump, developed by the non-profit KickStart, allows poor farmers
to irrigate land that previously was dependent on unreliable rains.
Firefly is a cost-effective phototherapy device for treating newborns with jaundice,
from the non-profit Design that Matters. Ten percent of all newborns worldwide require
such treatment, but previous technologies were expensive, ineffective, and/or
cumbersome to use.
Liter of Light, designed by Illac Diaz, is an amazingly simple solution to the need for
inexpensive daytime lighting sources in informal settlements and tropical locales. It is a
skylight, made from a clear plastic soda bottle filled with water, installed in the roof of the
Eliodomestico is a simple solar still, designed by Gabriele Diamanti that can produce
drinkable water from salt water. Made from terracotta, it can be produced locally at minimal
cost. For larger scale water purification – from almost any contaminated water source –
Segway inventor Dean Kamen has developed the Slingshot.
GiraDora is a foot-powered clothes washer/drier, designed by Alex Cabunoc and
Ji A You, for use in areas without electricity.
Ideo.org worked with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in Tanzania to
increase the use of clean, efficient, inexpensive cookstoves.
Butaro Hospital, in Rwanda, designed by MASS Design Group, is an example of architecture that addresses local needs while building durable, low cost, sustainable structures.
LittleSun, a solar-powered LED lamp designed by Olafur Eliasson, replaces less efficient,
dangerous, and more expensive kerosene lanterns.
Mine Kafon is a low-cost landmine detonator that operates like tumbleweed in the wind.
Designed by Massoud Hassani, it is made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, and can be a viable response to the 110 million active mines in 70 countries.
Embrace meets the needs of the 20 million premature and low-birth-weight babies born
every year by providing an infant warmer that requires no electricity, has no moving parts,
and costs 1/200th of the price of traditional incubators.
For Good… is produced by Jonathan Fein and Roger Grange, award-winning documentary
filmmakers, who have more than sixty years of television production experience.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
JONATHAN FEIN – Producer/Director
Jonathan Fein has long been motivated to help people see and appreciate what is right in front of them. His award-winning documentary Objects and Memory, a meditation on the otherwise ordinary things in our homes and museums that mean the most to us, was PBS’s national, prime time, special in commemoration of the seventh and tenth anniversaries of 9/11. As a producer and/or editor, his work has included documentaries on a variety of subjects, from Journeys to Peace and Understanding, about President Nixon’s trip to China; The Competition, about maestro Lorin Maazel’s international search for great young conductors; Death Row Diaries, about Sing Sing prisoners; A Change of Heart, about volunteerism; as well as the PBS series The Fred Friendly Seminars; the Wisdom Channel series Innerviews; and the WNBC documentary magazine series 4Stories. He is the founding director of EVER – Environmental Video, Education, and Reports, an organization dedicated to using media to improve the world.
ROGER GRANGE- Producer/Cinematographer
Roger Grange has traveled the globe as a cinematographer and documentarian for over twentyfive years. His work is guided by a strong journalistic creed to reveal truth without manipulation. He has filmed hundreds of documentaries about subjects including deep ocean volcanism, education, terrorism, healthcare, and the failings of our democracy. His work has taken him to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in the submarine Alvin, into the ancient tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, and to the streets of Havana and Tehran. In 1994, Roger received an Earthwatch Film Award for a PBS documentary he co-directed in Kerala, India for the Quiet Revolution series, about innovative development programs in underprivileged communities. In January 2009, Roger, with his production partners, released MEGAMALL, a feature length documentary about corruption during the development of a shopping mall near their home town of Nyack, New York. The film has been praised for revealing injustices in our political process, and has served educators and activists in their work. He was recently director of photography for Barbra Streisand's platinum live performance DVD One Night Only. Roger's documentaries have appeared on PBS, Discovery, TLC, Court TV, ABC News, The History Channel, the Food Network, BBC, and many others.