Design for All

Inspiring Possibility


Design for Social Impact

Community challenges around our world such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, clean water, starvation, and so on beg for a creative approach to tackle questions around solutions that are accessible, affordable and sustainable. Enter Design for Social Impact. Design at 3M embraces an entire platform for collaborative creativity, driving application of design thinking principles to multiple problems with passion and possibility.

International Partnership

3M Design partnered with industrial design students at CENTRO, an institution of higher learning in Mexico that specializes in creative processes for problem solving. The purpose: Design for Social Impact.

3M Design Summit:
Creative Exploration

Our global creative team conducted an internal workshop focused on issues in education and unemployment among young people in the Morelos region of Mexico. How could design thinking make a difference?

3M Design Summit:
Community Focus

Insights-driven research explored various scenarios and personas within depressed areas, assessing how education, business, government and community could integrate to address key social issues in Mexico. Brainstorming sessions focused on how 3M technologies could solve problems in line with needs and values.

Collaborating with CENTRO

Collaborative creativity at 3M extends beyond the walls of our company. We want to challenge the next generation to think creatively about problem-solving as well; 15 CENTRO students came to our Global Design Lab in St. Paul, MN to collaborate, share and refine some of their own concepts around social impact with our designers. The student team also created two films to encourage awareness and support for project realization. Learn more HERE.

A Better World By Design Conference

In addition to the CENTRO project, 3M Design also created a “Design for All” presentation and workshop last year with Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design at Better World by Design. Design students developed a variety of solution concepts, ranging from hard-goods and web applications to community education programs and services. Looking ahead, our design team will continue to explore creative collaborations for social impact with an eye on the future…