As a treasured member of the DSI faculty since our inaugural year, Hannah has been helping our students understand who they are, and who they can aspire to be as social change agents in whatever community in which they’re working. She’s taking some of her knowledge public now, with her TEDx talk in Pittsburgh. This…
Hannah du Plessis is principal at Fit Associates, a firm that equips communities to create better futures for themselves. Hannah’s belief in human potential, tempered by the raw reality of growing up in violent, segregated South Africa, fuels her dedication to the field of social innovation. As a student, Hannah led the merging of two schools…
For the third year in a row, DSI faculty members Marc Rettig and Hannah Du Plessis have, with the help of their students. Pages in the book are student summaries of key topics, concepts, and ideas covered during the Fall 2014 Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation course. Drawing from course slides, lecture notes, and assigned readings, each student visualizes two topics, which are displayed during DSI’s Winter Show, and then composed into a book.
“The problem with the world” said the gentleman while peering over his rimless glasses, “is that people don’t care. People are too comfortable in their jobs and too afraid to take risks. And that is why nothing changes.” Have you heard that story also? And doesn’t it make your heart sink if you believe it? Luckily, I realize that this story is not entirely true. Every year as I meet the new DSI cohort I find living proof that people are caring, brave and that parts of the world are slowly changing – for the better.
As our world changes, we feel the turning of times tugging at the certainty and comfort of the known. Sometimes it is necessary to look up from your to-do list and step onto the ledge of uncertainty. For this, we find no place better than the open and peaceful palm of Montana.
Much of what passes for communication at work doesn’t connect us with our colleagues. When we diagnose, judge, or assert our status, we block empathy. Real communication isn’t a quest for control: it helps people to connect, learn from each other, and discover new possibilities.