I had the good fortune of meeting and featuring this team that is focused on empowering designers and makers alike. Full story on TC.
Barriers to international manufacturing and high fuel costs have long made overseas production painful for small businesses. Now, an economic trend towards American manufacturing has created a timely entrance to the market for Maker’s Row. The startup, a finalist in last week’s Women 2.0 Pitch Competition, says it wants to become a go-to resource to create, well, anything.
Co-founders Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez launched Maker’s Row in November to act as a sort of Match.com with Kiva.org-like profiles for factories and facilities. The site enables recognized designers and amateurs alike to partner with manufactures that are searchable on the site by state to create a range of items, from handbags to sportswear. It charges manufacturers a subscription fee to post. Read the post in its entirety.
For her birthday I just gave my Mom a handmade bowl from the SF-based e-retailer company Lydali. Like the other gifts I’ve bought on the site, it went over (very) well, in part because each item on the site features a story about the artisans who made it.
The online store, which “brings together well-designed jewelry, accessories, and home furnishings from around the world,” sources from 21 countries. It was launched eight months ago by Ali Price and Lydia Harter (whose combined names gave the company its moniker), two friends who met at Wake Forest before working at Kiva.org and Pottery Barn, respectively.
Where will February 14 find you this year? Dancing with your neighbors, friends, and co-workers, of course!
This 15th V-Day will be the largest ever: when women and men around the world dance, sing, and shout in defiance of violence against women. I’ll be at City Hall with thousands of other San Franciscans, DJs, and Mayor Lee between 4 to 6 PM–consider it if you’re local.
One Billion Rising was created to show our collective refusal of violence aimed at women and girls. Your stomping–your sharing, your hip-waving, your shouting–is part of a global call for a better reality for 50% of the world’s population (and the people who love them). more
At Mozilla we’ve just launched a call for design submissions for new Open Badges and are seeking your creative prowess. This is part of a project to acknowledge public contributors’ work and create meaningful badges that can help them earn new career opportunities:
Attention visual designers! Are you interested in contributing to Mozilla, being part of an awesome worldwide community and having your work seen by a *lot* of people?
Our Web Development team relies on community volunteers for help with a variety of things and would like to create a series of badges to recognize these contributors for their work. Specifically, they need badges that could be earned by the following actions on Github. more
In a world of customizable coffees and individualized experiences, the wedding industry is just recently starting to break from its historical lack of options. Pre-nuptials, many couples still face lists of venue-required caterers and fight their way past other undesirable prescriptions for their big days. Enter NewlyWish, a New York-based e-commerce platform that seeks to provide creative registry options beyond big-box retailers.
With its first product for couples, the newly minted winner of the Women 2.0 PITCH NYC Startup Competition provides a custom multi-merchant online marketplace. Users can choose from and register for goods at brick-and-mortar stores, which have historically been excluded from the $19 billion annual domestic wedding registry market.
I keep holding out for a magical pocket of time when my thoughts from the annual Mozilla Festival (“MozFest”) will crystallize. Realizing that that’s foolish–and inspired by Grainne Hamilton’s thinking about badges in Scotland post-fest and Pamela Fox’s inspiring take on proving your worth as someone who’s self taught (first and last step: “open-source everything on Github”)–it’s time to share a few takeaways from London.
A few dozen people joined my colleagues Doug Belshaw, Sunny Lee (that’s her at right) and I to think about Designing Open Badges in the Wild and another 20 came together to give feedback on the user experience around earning and hosting badges. They are educators, designers, non-profit organizers, business folks, and people designing their own personal learning pathways. more
I’m excited to share that I’ve joined the team at Mozilla Foundation this month as design and community lead on the organization’s Open Badges efforts. Say that you want prospective employers to know that you have design or programming skills (or are an amazing copywriter or coach to kid creators or…you get the idea). A resume doesn’t do justice to all you’re capable of, nor is it validated by organizations whose credentials you’ve earned. And in an age of anywhere, anytime learning, university degrees don’t adequately capture skills gained outside the classroom.
Like Girl or Boy Scout badges, Open Badges with metadata information coded in serve as digital and visual forms of recognition of skills and literacies. Mozilla Foundation has created the infrastructure that allows issuing organizations to offer their badges to the world via badge earners who meet their requirements. Badges can then be displayed on social network and job search sites, among other places, for discovery by people who might ask about or applaud earners’ efforts. more
I can’t think of a new game I’ve been more excited to see brought to the world than the Go Go Games suite (though SuperBetter is also one I’m ecstatic about). The iPad app for children with autism spectrum disorders is the creative brainchild of interaction designer Heidi Williamson, user interaction expert Joy Wong Daniels, and software engineer Alexis Hiniker. The game, which is now available for 99 cents on iTunes, includes colorful train, car, and spaceship matching games that are deceivingly focus-demanding (by design). Kudos are in order for this team, which tested with dozens of children and educators before shipping its inaugural product with imaginative music by Adam Seltzer.
You may have noticed that things have been a little, shall we say, crazed in our culture. You don’t need to go far to see that kids, teens, adults, friends, co-workers, and neighbors feel called to check their phones, emails, game scores, and online connections. All the time.
Among other things, researchers have found anxiety, depression, loss of sleep, stress, and weight gain to be tied to excessive time on computers and other devices. In a time of continuous partial focus, a few Stanford designers and I thought that the attention–and intentions–of millions of young people who will be shaping tomorrow’s world deserves addressing.
This year we created Presence Project and a tacklebox-like toolkit to help families reconnect around their passion projects. A few ideas for creating more imaginative experiences and enjoyment in being together can be found here, and these resources can also help on your quest. more
After having been fortunate to spend a few weeks in Nairobi over the past year, I’ve started to recognize the massive importance of clean water and access to sanitation. Standing in line with young mothers who wait upwards of four hours a day in line to pay for a few gallons of water has shocked me. Not just because that time could be better spent on their businesses, educations, and the many contributions they make to their communities in informal settlements–but because they frequently return home empty-handed when water supplies are low or cost-prohibitive. In lieu of other options, dirty water becomes the default solution for family drinking and cooking.