17 Sep 2019


iF Design sponsors five worthwhile social initiatives in Italy, Brazil, Greece and Kenya with EUR 25,000. Twice a year iF Design awards the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE and donates a total of EUR 50,000 to exceptional projects that tackle the most urgent challenges facing our society.

With the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE, the iF International Forum Design GmbH created an award in 2017 designed to support projects and initiatives that offer creative solutions to social problems and challenges. Every year, iF Design donates prize money worth a total of EUR 50,000, which goes directly to the initiatives. An international iF team decides which initiatives are most deserving of support so that they can be continued and developed.

The categories reflect the official sustainability goals of the UN – from battling hunger and poverty to promoting sustainable agriculture and fighting for human rights.

To date, a total of 776 social projects from over 50 countries have been submitted for the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE by companies, design studios, NGOs, charities and public and private institutions, and published in the iF Design Website.

>> The registration phase for the second round is currently underway. Projects can still be submitted and uploaded to the iF Design Website by 20 November 2019!

In the first round, 5 x EUR 5,000 went to:

1_ Bee My Job
Beekeeping project with refugees in Alessandria, Italy

2_ Nashulai Maasai Conservancy
Renaturation of a reserve by the Maasai in Nashulai, Kenya

3_ End FGM once and for all
Fight against female genital mutilation worldwide

4_ Design Meets Fa.vela
Creation of brand identities in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

5_ The Echo-Hub-Leros
Community center for refugees on Leros, Greece

iF Managing Director Ralph Wiegmann 
is thrilled by the enormous diversity and creativity of the projects that have been submitted: „The iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE is very close to our hearts. Together with our student award, the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD, it is our contribution to the common good all around the world. People and their involvement are key – and we honor them by giving them a platform through the iF Design Website, where they can share their ideas for solving social challenges. For us it is also important to highlight the role that design can play in addressing urgent social issues.“

5 projects – supported by iF:

EUR 5,000 went to:

Project name: | Beekeeping project with refugees
Category/UN Goal: Reduced Inequalities
Initiator: APS Cambalache, Alessandria, Italy

„Bee My Job“ is an Italian beekeeping training and mediation program for refugees and asylum seekers. It offers displaced people the chance to learn a skill, get to know local people and integrate in society through work. The initiative is run by the charity Cambalache in Alessandria, around 100 km north of the port city of Genoa. Since the charity was set up in 2014, it has trained a total of 170 beekeepers and arranged 106 work placements. The income from the honey produced goes towards funding the project. As well as economic integration, the main focus of the project is on promoting social integration.

Jury statement: „Displaced people are given a wonderful opportunity to find a job in beekeeping and agriculture. Their professional training gives them the sense of being useful. They are trained and given a work placement – no matter what their background. It is a superb way of integrating immigrants and providing them with ways of becoming part of society.“

Winner statement: „Cambalache and the Bee My Job team are proud to be awarded the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019. For us this is further proof of the strength and topicality of the Bee My Job message.“

Video about the project

EUR 5,000 went to:

Project name: | Renaturation of a reserve by the Maasai
Category/UN Goal: Life on Land
Initiator: Nashulai Maasai Conservancy, Nashulai, Kenya

In the face of growing poverty and the loss of biological diversity, the land of the Maasai and the wild animals that live there is under severe threat. In 2016, the Nashulai Maasai Conservancy was the first indigenous reserve to be set up in East Africa. It covers an area of 6,000 acres. Fences that normally separate humans from wild animals were removed to create a traditional, holistic land usage model: cows, sheep and goats graze alongside elephants, rhinoceros and gazelles – just as the Maasai lived in centuries gone by. The land is monitored to ensure that there is always enough food and water for all. The project and its mission „Protect wildlife – preserve culture – fight poverty“ has already inspired other communities to make similar changes.

Jury statement: „This project combines the protection of wild animals and the preservation of culture in order to put an end to poverty and to develop a functioning, self-organized protected area in the land of the Maasai. It is the perfect example of a strong community with a fantastic idea.“

Winner statement: „We are delighted to hear that our groundbreaking Nashulai Maasai Conservancy has won the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019. It's an incredibly moving moment for us to know that a global network of people is willing to invest in our idea. Our holistic model is aimed not just at regenerating the land plus its threatened wildlife and conserving the limited natural resources in this critical ecosystem, but also at lifting the Maasai communities around the Mara out of poverty and give them the opportunity to overcome their challenges.“

Video about the project
Video winner statement


EUR 5,000 went to:

Project name: | Fight against female genital mutilation           
Category/UN Goal: Gender Equality
Initiator: Desert Flower Foundation, Vienna, Austria

More than 200 million girls and women suffer from genital mutilation. And every year another 3.5 million girls are added to this number against their will. Female genital mutilation (FGM) has nothing to do with religion, culture or tradition. It is an unacceptable crime. The human rights activist and supermodel Waris Dirie has been fighting against this crime for years. At the age of five, she herself was the victim of FGM. Together with the British label Coco de Mer and the photographer Rankin, Waris and her Desert Flower Foundation have declared war on FGM: „Our mission is to eradicate FGM and empower women to lead self-determined lives.“

Jury statement: „The eradication of female genital mutilation strengthens women's rights and helps them to lead a self-determined life, which is a human right. It is an excellent and necessary project!”

Winner statement: „For us, the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019 is both an incentive and confirmation that we are heading in the right direction. All of the prize money will be put towards construction of the first 'Desert Flower School' in Sierra Leone (West Africa), which is due to open shortly. Education is the strongest weapon in our fight against female genital mutilation (FGM). We are very grateful that iF is helping us to empower girls and women. An independent and self-determined woman is less likely to be subject to group pressure. We will never give up our fight against FGM!”

Video about the project

EUR 5,000 went to:

Project name: | Creation of brand identities
Category/UN Goal: Decent Work + Economic Growth
Initiator: Greco Design, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

The favelas in Brazil are the result of an extremely unfair wealth distribution. Fa.vela is Brazil's first business accelerator based in the favelas and works together with low-income communities. The project „Design Meets Fa.vela“ aims to develop visual identities for companies - all on a voluntary basis! In the last three years, 90 brand identities have been created. The logos have been produced by the city's best designers. Thousands of people benefit directly from the project, just by taking into account family members and the number of jobs created.

Jury statement: „Poverty is a trap that is hard to escape from because the children of poor parents usually grow up to be poor adults. Fighting poverty through design is a powerful new strategy. This fantastic initiative by Greco Design makes this very clear.”

Winner statement: „Of all the awards we have ever won, we feel most honored to receive the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE for our 'Core Project'. We are incredibly happy, very proud and deeply moved. Forthcoming exchanges with the community will help us to deploy our resources with even greater success in the future.”

Video about the project

EUR 5,000 went to:

Entry:  | Community center for refugees on Leros
Category: Quality Education
Initiator: Echo100Plus, Vienna, Austria

Echo100Plus is an Austrian NGO that has been involved for years with Greece and the refugees stranded there. In October 2016 the initiative set up the Echo-Hub-Leros - a community and education center on the island of Leros. A team of professional teachers and volunteers looks after the needs of displaced people here: starting with first aid measures and moving on to educational, professional and leisure activities. A special school project offers meaningful daily employment as well as valuable training in various areas. The main aim of Echo100Plus is to prepare schoolchildren for a successful start in their new life.

Jury statement: „The provision of music, computer and languages courses is hugely important for refugees as they try to rebuild a „normal“ life. Echo100Plus also acts as a bridge by involving the local community in the services provided by the hub. As a result, locals and refugees are enjoying a better degree of cohabitation on Leros than elsewhere. It is a truly exemplary project.”

Winner statement: ”It is getting increasingly difficult nowadays to raise awareness and support for refugees arriving on Greek shores. People simply don't want to hear any more about refugees and the offer of humanitarian aid is losing popularity. Having our work recognized by the iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2019 is definitely a morale boost and spurs us on. We are overcome with joy and incredibly grateful for this award!”

Video about the project

For more information and image material, please contact us.




iF International Forum Design GmbH

Annegret Wulf-Pippig
Bahnhofstraße 8
30159 Hannover

Phone: +49 511 54224-218
Email: annegret.wulf-pippig@ifdesign.de

iF Design Foundation

Helke Brandt | General Secretary

Phone: +49 511 21909962
Email: agentur@hbcom.eu