Take a look at our November set of Changemakers! Learn who is working to prevent food waste by building a food recovery service sector, and who is organizing student leaders on the national level to become advocates for education reform.
Every day young people are working to turn their passions into a career and their ideas into solutions, and we want to share their stories with you!
Rachael Kay Albers: RKAink & Awesomepreneur.org
Bio: Rachael Kay Albers is an artist, activist, and awesomepreneur. Her web design biz RKA ink supports her social art projects in Mexico, Guatemala, Kenya and the USA. Rachael writes about living and working with heart in her digital mag Awesomepreneur.
Project: My heartwork is teaching young leaders and community groups how to use art, music, and theater as tools for creative problem solving. During the year, I lead a high school theater ensemble in a rural community in Chiapas, Mexico, and this summer, I partnered with the young women’s empowerment organization Girls Shift Africa in Kenya to help their leaders integrate creative tools and exercises into their work with girls in primary and secondary school. When I’m not knee-deep in my own heartwork, my hobby is celebrating other awesome folks and their gifts; I founded the digital magazine Awesomepreneur as a resource by and for heart-centered entrepreneurs all over the world.
Favorite Designed Good Product: Gotta go with the Chicago Metro cuff by Design Hype, though I would nickname it the El cuff. I’m a Windy City girl, but I am always getting lost, so when I visit home it’s handy (literally) to wear a map on my wrist!
Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue: Maps for Good
Marty Bio: Marty combines her passions for the outdoors and design into one goal: creating beautiful maps that allow her and others to explore the world. She is a 2010.5 graduate from Middlebury College in Vermont, where she majored in Geography. Her Geography studies and involvement in the North Country landscape inspired her to pursue place-based visual storytelling. Before co-founding Maps for Good, Marty worked as a cartographer at National Geographic Maps and National Geographic Magazine. Marty is a National Geographic Young Explorer and a 2013 Wild Gift Fellow.
Ross Bio: Ross pursues his passions for nature, exploration, and place-based education through visual storytelling. He graduated from Macalester College in 2011 where he majored in Geography and Environmental Studies. His education instilled a desire to examine the complex relationships between humans and the environment across space, time, and scale. Prior to co-founding Maps for Good, he worked as a cartographer producing print and web maps at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. While working on creative projects he follows Ms. Frizzle’s mantra: take chances, make mistakes, get messy.
Project: In an age in which people are flooded with information every day, better-world initiatives need compelling visuals to stand out from the crowd, tell their story, and engage their target audience. At Maps for Good we create print and interactive maps that visualize the work of better-world initiatives. We specialize in making maps that explore trends, tell the stories behind products, showcase an initiative’s impact, and connect people with places. Our geospatial analysis and map-based communication tools empower and propel our clients’ good work. We’re currently finishing up our flagship project, Mapping the Future Patagonia National Park in Chile. Visit our website to learn more and pre-order a map!
Favorite Designed Good Product: We love all the Usful Glassworks products! They’re elegant on their own, but their history of repurpose makes them all the more beautiful. We also can’t get enough of Taza Chocolate, made in Somerville, MA! We went through several rounds of it when we drove across the country last spring. Spicy and delicious.
Dana Frasz: Food Shift
Bio: For over a decade, I have worked to inspire, support, and create social change through my work on college campuses, with businesses, and at Ashoka Changemakers. When I was seventeen I spent four months volunteering and living with families in South East Asia. That experience shaped my world view and awakened my understanding of the true value of food. I was really struck by the excess, abundance and waste when returning home. My obsession with keeping food out of the trash can began in college. I remember vividly the day I witnessed tray after tray after tray of food being dumped down the garbage disposal in the cafeteria. I spent the next three years developing a food recovery group on campus that collected food from ten local businesses each evening, from the dining hall twice each day, and delivered it to the Bronx where it helped to feed 500 people each day. Food recovery groups like this exist all across the country Yet the problems of hunger and food waste persists and are in fact more heightened than every before. That is why I launched Food Shift.
Project: 40% of food is wasted in the United States while 50 million Americans don’t have enough food. At Food Shift, we see this as a waste of resources, nutrition, and human potential. We aim to connect the dots between these issues by providing jobs to low-income individuals in the recovery, redistribution and processing of surplus food. We envision the creation of a food recovery service sector as an extension of our current waste management system and as a way to create jobs in the green economy. We are working with businesses, schools, restaurants and local governments to develop sustainable strategies that ensure food is utilized fully to benefit communities and redirected away from the landfill. Please join the movement to reduce food waste by making a donation and signing the pledge at www.foodshift.net.
Favorite Designed Good Product: Music and dancing is a huge part of my life and so I am a big fan of the Vers Earbuds. Music has brought me some of the best friends I’ll ever have and given me some of the best moments of my life. Music, like other art, stimulates imagination, opens our hearts and helps us connect more deeply with each others.
Kavya Shankar: HUWIB & CompassPoint Mentorship
Bio: Kavya Shankar is a senior at Harvard University studying economics and psychology. She currently serves as Co-President of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and is Co-Founder of CompassPoint Mentorship. Upon graduation, Kavya will be working in management consulting at McKinsey and Company in New York City.
Project: Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business is the largest undergraduate business organization at Harvard, reaching over 400 members on campus and over 2000 students worldwide. We seek to empower future female leaders through a variety of initiatives that promote business education and experience, most notably our Women in Business Weekend that takes place annually in October in Boston and brings together thousands of women from around the world. CompassPoint Mentorship is an organization dedicated to fostering lifelong learning inside and outside the classroom through mentorship by connecting alumni with students from their former high schools. Both initiatives are related to inspiring individuals to seek personal development, learn from mentors, and pursue their passions.
Favorite Designed Good Product: All of the Apple & Bee products, like the Bee the Change Eco Tote — I’m a sucker for good puns!
Catharine Bellinger: Students for Education Reform
Bio: College student organizer and future teacher fighting to ensure all kids have access to a great education.
Project: Students for Education Reform (SFER) is a student-led movement that champions educational equity for all children. SFER organizes undergraduate students who attended their local public schools to be a powerful force for K-12 education policy and political change in their own communities, through campus chapters that build and train a diverse base of members to tell their personal stories of the inequities in the school system and pro-student changes that need to occur. Our work has been highlighted in TIME Magazine, Forbes, and Education Week.
SFER currently has over 4,000 members on 134 college campuses in 36 states. SFER members organize their peers and communities to take grassroots action through public demonstration, media actions, direct lobbying, and electoral action. SFER creates the grassroots power necessary to win pro-student policy victories while empowering local students as leaders in their own communities. And in the long term, we are creating a large, diverse leadership pipeline into the education field. We concentrate our organizing efforts in target states, and currently have full-time staff organizing on the ground in California, Minnesota, Illinois, and Louisiana.
Favorite Designed Good Product: Babson Social Innovation Duffel — it lets you cram everything you need for donor pitches and board meetings all in one carry-on, while inspiring others to work in the social impact sector!
Henry Bergman: Men for Consent
Bio: Henry is a junior at Williams College where he is studying for a degree in English. He plays for the Williams College Rugby team and uses activism to add balance to his life. Born and raised in Chicago he cares deeply about his city and intends to work there after college.
Project: I am the co-president of a group called Men for Consent at Williams College. Our goal is to raise awareness about and prevent rape and sexual assault on campus and off. We do this through facilitating conversations, attending and hosting regional conferences, organizing creative activism projects, and creating safer social spaces. Men for Consent also engages in critical discourse, as a group, on issues of masculinity, feminism, dating, and sexuality. As our name suggests, we seek to be a venue through which men in particular can become educated and involved in addressing the issue of rape and sexual assault, but we welcome anyone and everyone who wants to get involved!
Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite Designed Good product is the bottled Brooklyn #CalmlySeekingSomeoneAwesome Tote because it lets me carry around all of my books and materials without ever having to return to my room. Great conversation piece as well.
That’s all for our November set of inspiring Changemakers. If you like what you read, stay in touch with Designed Good by signing up here for a weekly email filled with our latest content and products!
Also if you know someone who should be featured as a Changemaker in next month’s issue, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with that person’s name, their contact info, and a brief description of their project. We’ll be in touch!