Sappi Fine Paper North America announced the 2012 judging panel for its Ideas that Matter competition - an annual, innovative grant program that provides monetary support to produce the creative ideas of designers working for social good. Through this program, Sappi aims to inspire others to contemplate, 'What can design do for the greater good?' by affirming and financially supporting the meaningful ideas behind the aesthetics of design.
More than a decade ago Sappi established the Ideas that Matter grant program to recognize and support designers who donate their time and talent to create communications materials for a wide range of charitable activities. Ideas that Matter judges are given the task of evaluating each proposal on creativity, potential effectiveness and practicality of the implementation plan. Sappi takes pride in selecting judges who recognize the role that good design plays in inspiring people to take action. This year's panel is comprised of design leaders who are widely recognized not only for their award-winning work, but also for their leadership in design for social good: Rich Hollant, Principal/Design Director at co:lab inc.,Hartford, CT; Sam Shelton, Principal/Designer, Kinetic, Washington, DC; Mariana Amatullo, Vice President, Designmatters Department, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Mike Weikert, Partner at Weikert Design, Baltimore, MD; and Tracy West, Creative Director, 50,000feet.
"Most people think design is a service used to sell products and services for companies that have traditional sales goals and unlimited resources. The greatest change in the design industry and in the world in recent years has been the recognition that design skills and design thinking can be applied to any communication problem and can also be used to change the world in a meaningful way," said Doug Powell, National President of AIGA and a 2011 Ideas that Matter judge. "The Ideas that Matter program promotes design as a mechanism for solving problems as well as inspiring social action."
Ideas that Matter remains the only grant program of its kind in the design industry. Since commencing the program in 1999, Sappi has awarded more than $12 million in grants worldwide to designers who are performing pro-bono work for non-profit organizations. Grants support projects designed to enhance lives and positively impact society across a wide range of issues, reflecting concerns and needs of the communities that designers live in and care about most.
"For twelve years, Ideas that Matter has funded innovative ideas that help shape lives and communities around the world," said Jennifer Miller, Executive Vice President, Coated Business and Chief Sustainability Officer, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "Not only have past projects accomplished their objectives, but many have exceeded their goals, making an even bigger impact on society than expected. Sappi believes design has the power to change the world and Ideas that Matter is an important way we support this mission."
To serve as an example, Bao Design Lab last year received a substantial grant for the implementation of Project Dose, a program which addresses the issue of improper medication delivery affecting millions of sick children in developing countries. Their project, in collaboration with Ugandan partner Technology for Tomorrow, used a prototype-based system to enable nurses, pharmacists and parents to safely and reliably divide and re-package adult tablets into smaller doses for children. As a result, their project is providing children with the dosage they need to stay protected from live-threatening diseases such as malaria and HIV infection.