Hot Studio

Hot Studio San Francisco, C.A. 2010–2013

“Passion, intellect and
phenomenal design skills were
brought to bear by many at Hot
Studio who wanted to create
something of value, personal
and social meaning,”

In 2010, Sarah pitched an idea to Hot Studio— a leading experience design company in San Francisco known for innovation—that she create a cross- disciplinary practice dedicated to leveraging the power of design for positive social impact.

Sarah wanted to create it, lead it, and grow it.

Like Hot Studio, Sarah wanted to make the world a better place, and her proposal fit with her eternal need to get ahead of an issue: She wanted to show others how to use design to make real change.

Hot’s founder, Maria Giudice, agreed to the idea. Sarah and her team created a working group, the Design for Social Innovation Practice, that took on projects, formed a point of view about their commitment to local social innovation, and dove into understanding the challenges, opportunities, trends and funding structures of the social structure.

Their inspirational design brief came from R. Buckminster Fuller: “Our challenge is to make the world work for 100 percent of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or disadvantage to anyone.”

The studio developed and led a practice focused on integrating social and business value with an engaged, talented working group across project management, visual design, and user experience. About 30 percent of the studio became involved with Sarah’s program, which included more than 20 projects.

“Passion, intellect and phenomenal design skills were brought to bear by many at Hot Studio who wanted to create something of value, personal and social meaning,” Sarah says.

Her team coached social entrepreneurs, created a lunchtime learning series—which brought in speakers as diverse as Adam Dole from Mayo Clinic, Patrice Martin from IDEO.org, Mark Dwight from Rickshaw Bagworks, and Alon Salant of Good Eggs— and wrote about and spoke about design for social impact at national and international industry conferences.

Several designers helped run the team’s social entrepreneur mentoring program, called “Catalyst Sessions,” which partnered with Hub Ventures, Code for America and Mozilla Foundation. They also partnered with TED, SOCAP and PopTech.

Sarah ran the program until Facebook acquired Hot Studio in 2014.

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