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Applications Open: Don Norman Design Award and Summit

15 Apr 2024 (All Day)

Registration for this event has passed

The Don Norman Design Award and Summit (DNDA) is now open for applications. DNDA is a global platform for early-career practitioners and educational organizations to showcase activities that impact society and then, to host an international summit for all groups that are working to benefit society through Humanity-Centered Design. Humanity-Centered Design means community-based solutions where designs are done through participatory co-design: by and with communities. Moreover, all the work must address the impact upon the environment and all living things, not just the community for which it is intended. It is Human Centered plus more, hence the acronym H+CD.

This will be a yearly event. DNDA is a non-profit charity: 501(c)(3) in the United States.

What kinds of projects? See the United Nations’ list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals at (and read deeply into the numerous specialized websites branching off from that site). Projects must be done by people early in their career as practitioners-- no more than two previous projects. They must provide evidence of co- or participatory design with communities and have credible evidence of effectiveness.

Educational Groups
What kind of educational organization? Any educational group, universities, departments, bootcamps, on-line, etc., that teaches H+CD (it can be called by any name) and can demonstrate effectiveness by the activities of graduates. Educational awards are not a contest: Any group that satisfies the criteria will qualify.

The Summit.
The Humanity-Centered Design Summit, November 14-15, 2024, in San Diego, California (USA) allows everyone to share their knowledge, their lessons learned from both failures and successes, and to provide guidance and a platform for sharing. The Summit marks the start of the creation of an active society where every year people gather to share and learn. There are two parts to the Summit: Talks by leaders in H+CD with breakout sessions, and an informal, participant-driven “unconference,” with format and conversations determined by the participants.

The Aga Khan Foundation is joining us in organizing (and presenting at) the summit. We hope that this first meeting might lead to a formal organization for practitioners and educators of humanity-centered projects.

The Summit is open to everyone: there are no admission fees but will require registration (Likley available a few months before the November Summit). We hope the Summit will become an important meeting place for practitioners doing these kinds of societal projects and educators preparing people for the task. 


One day 1 of the Summit, award winners are announced, and keynotes will discuss the challenges of working on community-based, participatory projects, including lessons learned. Breakout sessions will explore special topics, where award winners, both projects and educational groups, get to expand upon their experiences. 

Day 2. The morning will be a continuation of the summit and the afternoon an unconference, with no fixed agenda. Participants list topics of interest, attendees sign up for sessions, and each proceeds in whatever fashion they decide.

Anyone can attend the two days of the summit: No admission fees. We hope to make this an annual meeting to teach lessons learned for practitioners (supplementing the primarily academic Participatory Design Conferences).


We are now accepting applications for awards at Go to there to find out more.


Projects are judged in two phases: First, a simple qualifying form allows us to state whether the proposal qualifies for the competition. If so, projects can submit a full application.  Educational institutions only have a single application form. Although projects are in a competition, educational groups are not: Any group fulfilling our requirements will be honored.

NOW: Submissions are open for Educational groups and Qualifying Project Applications for Projects.

April 15, 2024: Deadline for Submission of Qualifying Project Applications

May 31, 2024: Deadline for submission of Full Project and Education Applications.

August 1, 2024: Announcements of Project Awards and Educational groups that receive recognition.

November 14-15, 2024. The Summit in San Diego, California, USA, as described above. We will help with travel expenses for project winners.

15 Apr 2024 (All Day)

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