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Design for Change

Design for Change is a global movement that cultivates the 'I CAN' mindset in every child.

We are offering the world a magic formula! A simple four step framework to make every child graduate with the I CAN mindset – not by chance – by design! We call this magic formula - FIDS for KIDS! FEEL – empathy – nurture the heart. IMAGINE- ethics – grow the head. DO – excellence – use the hands collaborative action and agency. SHARE – elevation – inspire hope – I can , now you can too!

Hall of Fame


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Hall of Fame

HundrED 2021

HundrED 2020

HundrED 2019

HundrED 2018


Web presence






September 2017
We have received more than 20,000 stories of change from 45 countries and have impacted 2.2 million students.

About the innovation

What is Design for Change?

Design for Change firmly believes that all children have the ingredients to "be the change".

The vision of Design for Change is to ensure, by design, that all children grow with the “I can” mindset – the belief that they are not helpless, change is possible and they can drive it.

Every child has the right to express their views on matters that affect them and to have those views considered. Education systems have an opportunity to develop each child’s personality and talents to the full, to encourage the child’s respect for human rights, their own and other cultures, and the environment. In short, children should be empowered to be active citizens, able to make a change in the world. Academic competence and character development are the two most valued outcomes, for both educators and the public, yet the prevalence of standardized testing shows that academic competence is increasingly prioritized, leaving a lack of opportunity for a child to develop their unique personality and talents and to have their voice heard.

Since 2009, Design for Change has empowered children to be active change-makers in their communities. The goal is to create a learning environment that balances academic attainment with character development, focusing on passion and compassion, content and character, doing well and doing good. Design for Change is completely decentralized – the ideas for projects will come from the schools and communities themselves. This means any school around the world can adopt the key principles and utilize the method to suit their unique context and particular needs.

The four-step Feel, Imagine, Do, Share process used by Design for Change leads students to understand situations empathetically, imagine creative solutions and work collaboratively to put those solutions into action. The approach builds employability skills, such as empathy, collaboration, leadership, presentation. Through taking control of their own learning, children are able to unlock skills they didn’t even know they had. A 28% increase in overall grades and 39% increase of performance in standardized testing have been evidenced. In addition to academic improvements, teachers see their students become empowered, and are able to shift their practice from teacher to facilitator, as children become the driving force in their own education. 

Design for Change organizes an annual global conference, Be The Change, to allow young superheroes from across the world to showcase their stories of change and to inspire others with their determination and courage.

Design for Change has received much recognition for their work and have won 8 awards to date, including recently:

  • Winner of the Earth Prize, 2019, in Luino, Italy, in October, 2019
  • Winner of Lexus Design Award 2019, in Pune, in January, 2019
  • Awarded the Qimpro Award 2017 for Excellence in Education, in November, 2017

Children from over 40 countries around the world poured into Rome at the end of November 2019 to celebrate the first ever, all faith, inclusive 'I CAN Children's Global Summit'! More than 2,500 of these young superheroes, aged 7 to 17 years old, were the protagonists of this inspiring four-day event filled with celebration, creativity and sharing, that culminated in a special private audience with Pope Francis inside Vatican City's Aula Paula VI Hall.

Please watch out event glimpses: https://youtu.be/6eWA0ZPbGIk

Here is some explainer videos on FIDS (FEEL, IMAGINE, DO, SHARE):

1. FEEL: https://youtu.be/XKEFMBF0QbA

2. IMAGINE: https://youtu.be/jxsPoy5Sm8A

3. DO: https://youtu.be/pEd90FlQypw

4. SHARE: https://youtu.be/jeGLsYsHyko

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Research conducted by The GoodWork Project has reaffirmed the impact of the FIDS approach on the development of skills like collaboration, creative thinking and empathy. Design for Change partners with other organizations to bring the programme to as many children as possible.

HundrED Academy Reviews
Love the focus on creative confidence! I also think they have taken on designing their own creative process model. The age range and scale appears ready to scale into other countries and contexts already.
Already widely scaled. Development of creativity is inherent Design for Change is a global movement to the work.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
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Implementation steps


Learners take a close look at their surroundings, identify a problem they feel strongly about and engage with the community to scrutinize this situation through multiple perspectives, developing empathy in the process.

Think from the heart - the first step towards making change happen is trying to understand how people feel. Learners are encouraged to look at their surroundings closely and observe things that bother them (hotspots).

Learners then share their observations with their team and vote as a group for one situation they would like to see change. 

After selecting the issue, learners dig deeper to understand better by asking questions such as: when does it happen? Where does it happen? Who is being affected? 

The next stage is to speak to people who are involved and affected by the situation, in order to understand their concerns so that a solution can be designed with them rather than for them.


Tap into the wildly creative optimism inherent in children to visualize an ideal scenario and brainstorm ways to achieve it.

Learners brainstorm potential solutions as a group. They are encouraged to think big and build upon the ideas of others. Key considerations are whether the solution is bold in nature, easy to replicate and long-lasting while impacting the maximum number of people. The group then votes to decide which ideas best address each part of the situation they want to change. 

Young people get to step out of the classroom and put their ideas into action, redefining "failure" as "prototyping".

In this step, young people make change happen - this is where they can "be the change"! 

First comes the planning stage, where learners will need to consider what resources they will require, what their budget is, how they will raise the money, how many people will be required, how much time it will take and how their work will be documented. Within the group, the learners choose their roles and responsibilities, keeping individual strengths in mind. 

Next, the plan will be put into action.

Finally, learners will reflect on their work, considering what they learnt about the situation, their teammates and themselves. It is also important to consider how to sustain the impact of their project. 


Learners are encouraged to share their stories with the world to enable other young people to say "I can!" too.

Stories can be shared with Design for Change at challenge.dfcworld.com, where submission guidelines can also be found. Learners can submit either a photo story or a video story. 

Going even further, young people are encouraged to spread the magic of their stories through school assemblies, TV and radio shows, social media, newspaper articles, and performances. 

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