This year’s challenge ends on May 15, 2015

Design for Change 2015 / 2016 is now open!
Check out the new Web Portal to get started today.

Who we are

DESIGN FOR CHANGE is a curriculum and technology platform that builds character, capacity and confidence by engaging young people in social change projects.

We empower

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to be Change Mentors through

  • curriculum

    Our 30 hour design thinking curriculum was built in conjuncton with the nation's foremost thinkers in education, such as Harvard, Stanford and IDEO.

  • tools

    We have a host of tools and resources for mentors and teachers, including a web portal for managing projects, a toolkit to get started easily and other web resources.

  • training

    We conduct 3 hour in person or online training sessions for interested educators! Get trained on the DFC approach and be able to start projects in hours.

Design for Change is a simple framework:

  • FEEL


    A team of young people engages their community and chooses a problem that's meaningful to them.

  • imagine


    Together, young people imagine a solution that just might work.

  • do


    Working together, young people bring that solution to life.

  • Share


    Young people share and inspire others through a viral video, and present their project to the community!

Why Design for Change?

Because our young people need relevant, meaningful, real-life experiences to grow and apply their strengths. Because our communities need the unique insight and creative confidence of young people to help solve our biggest challenges.


How does it Work?

In dozens of countries around the world, Design for Change has helped thousands of young people make positive change. They've built their skills, boosted their creativity, and discovered what they're truly capable of. And their ideas have impacted thousands of communities.



By working along side our partner organizations including City Year, Ashoka Youth Venture, Citizen Schools, United Nations International School, and Teach for America, Design for Change continues to empower young people across the USA.

We are active in States such as Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, South Dakota, Texas, Florida, California, New Hampshire, New Orleans, Nebraska, Virginia and Tennessee.

Young people are using Design for Change to address issues such as these in their community: poverty, homelessness, hunger, environment, gangs/violence, drugs, obesity, drop out rates, empathy, stereotypes and bullying.

How do we do it??

We help mentors working with any group of young people, from after-school clubs and extracurricular groups to classrooms and home-schoolers, provide the guidance for young people to develop and apply their

It's easy to start, and the possibilities are limitles


What’s the impact?

When young people take ownership of their own ideas,
and help bring them to life, the results can be
astounding. Participants have reported feeling
motivated, proud of themselves, closer to to their
communities, and energized to do more.


So who are you?

We're an organization based in Cambridge, Mass. - the U.S. partner of the worldwide Design for Change network. Our mission is to provide opportunities for youth by empowering their mentors through curriculum resources, training, and guidance. Most of our materials are free; some services have a small cost to help us sustain our operations.

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    Vinay Gidwaney

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    Sanjli Gidwaney

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    Jane Doe

Our Partners

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Are you interested in partnerning with Design for Change USA or starting your own DFC Chapter in your commmunity? Learn How.

Many young people would like to bring about changes in their community, and many adults (including me) urge them to do so. I’m enthusiastic about Design for Change, an organization dedicated to helping young people articulate and pursue their aspirations for their community.

- Howard Gardner
Harvard Graduate School of Education
I very enthusiastically support Design for Change USA because it powerfully mobilizes the wisdom and energy of youth to strengthen communities. It both develops key capacities and ethical commitments in youth and has the potential to improve communities in countless ways.

- Rick Weissbourd
Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
They have really taken to the FIDS model, and even use it to help resolve conflicts in the classroom/on the playground, and solve problems at home. It is wonderful to see how empowering this is for children.

- Erin Threlfell
Teacher, United Nations International School, NY
This experience is the type of activating experience that our students can really grab on to, and really feel inspired by, and continue to develop projects that impact their community…because once one project is implemented and students see the way they can impact their community, it becomes something they continue to want to do!

- Tara Harrington
Teacher, Teach for America
Design for Change USA 2013 Winning Team