First-of-its-kind “Good Design Glossary” Published


GOOD Magazine today published a first-of-its-kind “Good Design Glossary“–edited by our own John Cary and Gilad Meron–in an effort to develop shared language for this emerging movement or field at the intersection of design and service. Building on the Social Impact Design Summit in February 2012–convened by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts and immediately following the February 2013 release of the summit white paper–we began to work on one popular request: to compile a glossary of social impact design terminology.

In the emerging field of social impact design, we’ve seen important discussions and efforts hamstrung, sidetracked, or misunderstood due to the lack of a unifying vocabulary. This glossary sheds light on the redundancy of certain words and phrases, and we hope it also sheds light on the fact that many leaders and practitioners are using different terms to describe almost identical processes and approaches. Despite arguments over “correct” terminology, we are all speaking the same language. We’re eager to improve and expand this glossary, and welcome any and all corrections, edits, and additions. In particular, we ask for your help in identifying entities and individuals associated with each term as part of our larger effort to map the field. Please email

Click here to view an extended introduction as well as hyperlinks to entities and individuals known for using certain terms, online at, or click here to view the glossary on the GOOD website, including an interactive version of the above graphic, online at

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