Design For Change – Pakistan

Everyone, sit up and take notice of one of the best new initiatives in Pakistan this year: Design For Change, Pakistan!

The idea is simple: any group of 5 students from any school across Pakistan can identify a problem in their environment or community, think of ways to solve it, and take action that they then share with everyone else, inspiring others to make a difference!

Feel, Imagine, Do, Share!

From the official Design for Change Pakistan website:



The contest is about making our children believe that change is possible and that they can be the change.


1) Share the idea of the contest with the target age group (8 to 13 years).
2) Select a mentor teacher and form teams (not more than 5 students per team)
3) Get each team to follow the simple 4 step process (Feel, Imagine, Do, Share)

Important dates to keep in mind: 
September 15th, 2010 – Select an idea and register with Design for Change Pakistan. This means we should receive your registration form by this date.
October 3rd, 2010 – Pick a week and implement your idea.
October 15th, 2010 – Your Final Contest Entries should reach us.
November 2010 – Winners of Design for Change Pakistan will be announced.

Design for Change is an international initiative that seeks to reach 50,000 schools and at least 250,000 students (ages 8-13) and harness their creativity and intelligence to ‘design’ solutions for the world’s problems. It was launched by the Riverside school in India; watch founder Kiran Bir Sethi’s TED Talk:

The Positives

One of the primary objectives is to help children learn problem solving and allow them to think out of the box. Another is to give them hope that they can indeed make a difference. As Kiran Sethi puts it, the shift from ‘teacher told me’ to ‘I can do it’ is both remarkable and powerful – with long term implications that we can only imagine. The impacts of this initiative can potentially go far beyond the scope of this contest – by engaging in social change, children grow up to be responsible citizens and are much more likely to contribute to society throughout their lives.

In Pakistan, one of the biggest obstacles to development has been the lack of civic sense – at least for the next generation, Design for Change may well help fix this problem! In addition it’s a great activity as well – better have kids trying to fix their communities than have them watch the idiot box. Again, Riverside’s experience proved that students who engaged in Design For Change actually did better in traditional academics as well – probably because their minds were activated and their intelligence nurtured instead of repressed through rote learning! Finally, this helps keep children away from dangerous distractions. If boys want to hang out on the street every evening, why not try giving them a sense of purpose? Wishful thinking perhaps, but what’s the opportunity cost?

To any and all school teachers in Pakistan: what are you waiting for?



  1. Hey. Would you be interested in joining the print publication with its online counterparts? I’m thinking opinion pieces and/or social commentaries…if you’re interested? Email me for specific details, and if you’re interested…

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