Last week, Project M hosted Pizza Farm, a collaborative effort between designers and farmers in Connecticut. The event showcased a lush local harvest by arraying it artfully on pizza. All the ingredients, from the flour for the crust to the vegetables and meats were donated by local farmers. Everyone ate free.
Pizza Farm was sponsored by Winterhouse Institute, which focuses on non-profit, self-initiated projects that support design education and social and political initiatives. In January 2009, the Institute began a two-year project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation with a $1.5 million grant, to develop collective action and collaboration for social impact across the design industry.
Winterhouse and Project M’s students mounted the event in just two weeks. They got the farmers’ cooperation, prepped the food, secured a venue in Canaan, Conn., and promoted it with a snappy marketing blitz: smartly designed tees, ads and signs, Facebook, Flickr and buzz.
This spirit of social enterprise is catalytic. The road ahead may be perilous for some time now as we weather a dire economy. But examples like these, where young social entrepreneurs make things happen, have the power to change the tone of life to one of hope. And who wouldn’t find that a delicious prospect?
Hat tip Steven Heller