Design for good : 2019 projects

We design for good when… we take our time and resources to improve life quality on essential matters . The most legitimate way to do so, in my opinion, is to start with taking care of our own unmet but troubling needs, and of those of our loved ones. In the meanwhile, if all companies could ask themselves what their true and unique “reason to be” is, if they do improve the world in any way by existing, and if not how could they transition towards more meaning, it would be a great start ! 🙂

Here are some projects (mental health, inclusive education, finance, social incubation) I have loved working on in 2019, alone or often with my graphic and UX designer friend, Katie M. Connor.

Mental Health – training youth with psychosis to regain autonomy – Prépsy.fr

Most people with “schizophrenia”, or more correctly “psychosis”, see their symptoms appear around when they are 18 to 25 years old. This neuropathology can change their lives for ever, both because of the nature of the symptoms (difficulty to concentrate, loss of positive emotions, eventual hallucinations…), and also because of how the general public has a wrongful negative image of their potential behaviour. Movies have for a long time shown a very dangerous and yet wrong image on psychosis (and this obviously has to change). The person they may harm is mostly themselves by getting lost in their own lives. Prépsy is an organisation dedicated to guide them from the early stages of their first symptoms towards, hopefully, autonomy. We worked on clarifying the complex “case management” steps of their process to make it accessible for both the concerned youth and their exhausted families. We aimed at using fewer and simpler words, while maintaining medical precision, and using colours and shapes which would not trigger symptoms.

We determined that what will help them the most get through the first storms of psychosis is developing a strong ability to focus on what is positive and constructive in their lives, what is peaceful, stable, useful. We called the guidance steps the “Prépsy Focus Program” in order to develop a positive communication, which will motivate them to get trained for autonomy, to feel proud of their ability to focus better than anyone. Our signature : “Living beyond symptoms”… instead of “surviving alone”. We refreshed the logo : the little circles represent the team which helps the kids, and the orange accent breaks out of the circle so they can walk on their own after a while. This was a process of co-design lead with a group of 5 people, including the founder of the organisation.

Education – Inclusive training network for digital jobs – Simplon.co

Many adults have a hard time finding, regaining or maintaining a job. There can be many reasons for that : handicaps, discrimination, having gone through a process of finding refuge in a new country, having had difficulties to focus at school…

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What better than “digital skills” in the 2000s to get back on your feet and reintegrate employment ? It is with this belief in mind that Simplon was created. It now represents a network of 18 countries in which teams bring such skills to disadvantaged job seekers, through learning-by-doing projects. This important growth happened in a quite short time. How to make sure that all the individuals using Simplon management, education and presentation tools use them with a common spirit of belonging and a homogeneous graphic approach (and avoid chaos ^^) ?

To answer this question, we worked with Simplon Paris to develop the “Simplon touch”. A graphic identity and set of rules applied to various content templates for the internal use. A workshop was lead with 12 participants (+interview with the co-founder/president) to understand which ingredients gave life to Simplon’s true values and personality. We understood we had to differentiate the brand from the black and white “digital world” and make it more inviting, and yet still belong to that “world”. Finally, the process lead us to use symbolisms to tell the story of Simplon, and give a hint to what a computer looks like on the inside.

You may discover a glimpse of this Simplon Touch in the following video designed in only 10 days of work for a conference which took place this summer ! 🙂

The ants you may see at 1:01 in this video are one of the 10 key symbols we developped for the Simplon touch, representing hard workers who also always help each other out (the team mates, but also the students when they are on a project).

Ethical Finance

On this project, the results have not yet seen light and this is why I cannot yet share the details, nor give the name of our co-designing partner. I still want to write a few lignes though because it was an inspiring work.

A fin-tech award winning startup contacted us as I was writing articles about becoming “abundance designers”. What I meant by that was that, one creates more for themselves and others if they create to respond to true needs, while doing what they love. This duo agreed and they wanted us to lead workshops with a beautiful question : “What is, can and should be ethical finance ?”

I can assure you, that even simply seing the time and presence a finance company has put in deepening the answers to this question was giving hope for the future. So many of our worlds imbalances come from that branch, and awareness is shining there too thanks to positive and constructive people. The work was inspiring, but the case study sharing will still have to wait some more. 😉

Female Social Business Incubator – La-Ruche.net

La Ruche is an organisation which helps women social entrepreneurs to succeed. Each year, a number of women are selected and get to go through trainings and workshops, to develop their brands and companies in all needed ways, and find support and funds.

Most of these micro entrepreneurs are at the very heart of the insights for which they design solutions. They are their first clients and this makes them the exact type of people İ want to support and work with. By becoming sources of what makes life simpler and more enjoyable for themselves they bring beauty for their communities as well.

Le Févier d’Or, the solidary chocolate factory

These thoughts made me write the first e-mail to La Ruche and friendships seeds were thus planted. 🙂 Since then, İ have volunteered to intervene as a a design and identity coach for their brands through workshops, and İ have lead one of the most inspiring interviews of my life with one of the participants.

There İ am, the second yellow dress on the left ^^

2020 is still young but İ will share my new projects here as they come. A lot is cooking. :)) İ just joined Greenpeace Luxembourg as a volunteer to work on positive and constructive communication projects and İ am quite excited about this. İf you also have Design For Good projects or would simply like to share on these types of subjects please write to me. 😉

Have a – good – year !

NEṢEM ERTAN – LİFE COACHİNG AND DESİGN FOR GOOD 
LUXEMBOURG – PARİS – İSTANBUL

ertan.nesem@gmail.com 

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