2012 Annual Meeting



Opening Plenary Session

Designing for Impact

In a world of seven billion people, the demand on natural and man-made resources is greater than ever before. Yet we also have more human capital than ever before. The power and ingenuity of seven billion individuals, when collectively applied to our greatest challenges, can foster a healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable planet.

• How can we utilize our abundance of global capacity to invent better tools, build effective interventions, change behaviors, and work creatively and collaboratively to design a future worth pursuing?
• How are we designing our individual lives, our environments, and the global systems we employ in order to have impact on the challenges at hand?
• How can we better design our world to create more opportunity and more equality?

Breakout Sessions

How can we provide reliable and safe energy to those in need?

Design Lab

1.6 billion people around the world live without power or electric light, 70 percent of whom are women and children. Each year, nearly two million people die prematurely of illnesses caused by indoor air pollution from solid fuel use in households. Access to reliable and safe energy is therefore key to both health and economic development, with impacts ranging from providing children with a light-source for nighttime studying to limiting deforestation. Innovations in products, technologies, business models, and financing, with a particular focus on integrating women in the production and delivery process, are showing promise in providing safe and reliable access to energy to these 1.6 billion.

Influencing Behavior and Attitudes

Commitment Workshop

The ability to influence behavior can determine an initiative’s success or failure. Relevant messaging, communications, and educational tools that change basic habits and attitudes can multiply the reach and impact of a project. CGI members will examine what strategies and tactics are most effective for promoting real, lasting behavioral change, while exploring how these tools can be designed into projects from the outset.


How can we advance women-owned businesses in the developing world?

Design Lab

In emerging economies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up roughly two thirds of the GDP, comprise 85 percent of employment in the combined formal and informal sectors, and are responsible for most of the job creation. Across the world, women-owned enterprises grow at a greater rate than those owned by men. Supporting women-owned businesses to compete in the global market has multiple benefits; however, these businesses struggle against numerous barriers to growth in developing countries, including limited access to markets, the global supply chain, finance, and skills development.

Integrating Social and Environmental Value into Core Business

Commitment Workshop

Companies and society both benefit when businesses account for social and environmental value in addition to financial returns. Organizations that nurture small suppliers, restore local ecosystems, and build new relationships are reaping the rewards of higher quality, lower costs, and reduced risks. In this session, CGI members will share key lessons from their experiences with designing business practices and partnerships that create jobs, protect the environment, and promote social equity.

Turning Inspiration Into Action: Advancing the Individual

Broadcast Conversation

Good intentions abound among global changemakers, but translating that intent into action is much more difficult. To best serve the needs of people around the world, how can CGI’s community of leaders bridge the gap between designing impactful solutions and motivating people to participate in these solutions? Whether they focus on inspiring children to get excited about education, organizing a human-focused refugee camp, or designing a progressive living environment, the best solutions mobilize individuals as part of their approach. In this session, a series of speakers will share their experiences with designing to advance the interests of individuals, and leaders from across the NGO, business, and government sectors will address the following key question together: how can we design approaches that inspire individuals to take an active role in the process?