In the pursuit of change

POSTED BY on Oct 25, 2016

The pursuit of change reveals who we are.         

At the beginning of the year, Hornall Anderson issued itself a rallying cry. When we see a problem—personally or as an agency—it’s our responsibility to stand up and face it.

So, when my strategy-brother Jesse Baker and I saw a call for applicants to participate in AIGA’s 2016 Design for Good Changemaker Series—we stood up.

In short, the Changemaker Series pairs teams of volunteer designers, copywriters, program managers, and strategists with local non-profits to address a social change issue. This year’s focus was homelessness.

A problem like homelessness can paralyze you.

It’s big. It’s intractable. It's overwhelming. But, in that intimidating size is its weakness. With time, the right team, a little heart, and a clear direction, all of us can erode big problems like water on limestone.

(photo courtesy of AIGA)

Thankfully, I was paired with a great team and organization, Sea Mar Community Health Centers—a community-based organization committed to providing quality, comprehensive health and human services in Washington state. Our charge was to find a new means for them to help more of their underserved homeless patients.

For four months, we toiled in the dark offices of Hornall Anderson, in coffee shops, and homeless encampments. We interviewed caseworkers, schmoozed with CEOs, and engaged with directors of marketing and outreach. In the end, we confronted homelessness from a different angle by trying to help SeaMar with their prevention outreach.

(photo courtesy of AIGA)

In partnership with SeaMar, my team and I developed a strategy that would help SeaMar reach their patients that are on the verge of becoming homeless. We taught them the process of creating personas and how to use a creative brief with their agency partners to create messaging and branded experiences that, if successful, could bring health care to 3,000 at-risk families and individuals a month.

(photo courtesy of AIGA)

In the end, this project has meant more than the hours of work, or the solution we arrived at. I found that just the choice to make a difference revealed a hidden part of who I am. I believe that we are all changed along with what we seek to make better.

So, I challenge you to stand up.


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