IMPACT Design Lab

Report: Planning for Youth Leadership in the Emerging IMPACT Platform

​Developed by ​Emily Forsyth Queen
February 2019

Top: Youth Design Lab 
participants, Bottom: Aviva
Davis, Design Lab participant.
Credit: IMPACT, Ethics Center

Recognizing the importance of the voice and leadership of young people, one IMPACT working group facilitated a collaborative space for youth to design strategies to support young people in the arts, culture, and conflict transformation (ACCT) ecosystem.           

​Drawing on human-centered design techniques, a youth-focused design lab in November and December 2018 engaged young people around the world in assessing the particular strengths and needs of young people in the ACCT ecosystem. Then, through a “Creativity, Arts, and Social Transformation” (CAST) course at Brandeis University, students developed strategies IMPACT could adopt in order to leverage these strengths and address the needs articulated by young people:

​“Virtual Platform”: A platform for ACCT that incorporates many different social media elements, including: spotlights of human experiences in ACCT, networking, digital marketplace, mapping and highlighting ACCT efforts, telethons, ability to categorize and use many languages.

“Inclusive Learning Spaces”: University-based yearly conferences that rotate among regions and aim to reduce divisions between people in the ACCT ecosystem through reciprocity, homestays, and access to university resources.

“Transformative Consciousness”: ​A weeklong, holistic retreat/festival that rotates among regions, is live-streamed, and plans for follow-up small-scale local replications.


Read the full report

Design Lab
August 31 - September 3, 2018

Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex
Brandeis University

IMPACT convened a Design Lab on the Brandeis campus from Friday afternoon, August 31 through Monday afternoon, September 3. It brought into conversation leading thinkers and practitioners in the arts, culture and conflict transformation field. Read the biographies of the participants.

Since September 2017, various working groups within IMPACT (Executive Committee, Steering Committee, researchers team, data analysis team) have been sketching out a picture of the arts, culture and conflict transformation field: its strengths and its needs, its internal differences and points of consensus, the opportunities that are emerging and the factors that threaten to limit its efficacy. They have been listening to the hopes that people have for a stronger regional and global infrastructure for the field, as well as the cautions and concerns that people have expressed about this idea. The working groups have been in conversation with practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders, and now have organized the ideas and questions that had emerged from all of these conversations. Read the remarks of Brandeis Faculty Senate President Susan Curnan, delivered at a session of the Design Lab open to invited members of the Brandeis community.

IMPACT is about to turn its attention to proposing the design of an infrastructure – or more likely a set of structures and processes – to support the development of the field. The IMPACT working groups plan to advance their thinking, and to generate some fresh ideas, during a Design Lab. Conversations at the lab will be based on an emerging story of the field.



Read the full report

Read Emerging Story of the Field

Read Ellada Evangelou's illustrated diary of the Design Lab

Read bios of participants and staff

Read the remarks of Susan Curnan