May 15, 2019
It's no secret we live in a time of heightened social tension.
There are issues all around us we're inundated with through the
media and around the dinner table. It's overwhelming to consider
how we should address issues including racism, foster care reform,
recidivism rates, and healthcare. Today's guest is tackling these
issues with a unique kind of ammunition: human-centered design.
Durell Coleman is the founder of DC Design, a social impact design
firm that uses human-centered design to fix some of the world's
Things You Don't Want To Miss:
3:00 - The Durell 101
- Durell starts with his childhood and shares of his upbringing
- His passion for design goes all the way back. He told his mom
he wanted to be an inventor at the age of eight, and he made grand
plans to own his own company.
- Durell's brother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when
Durell was nine. His brother fought the disease for five long
years, and he even played varsity soccer and graduated high school.
However, he passed away at the age of 19.
- Durell's brother's battle with cancer challenged him to evolve
his dream. He wanted to create, and he wanted to do so in a way
that improved quality of life for others. He wanted to give people
a chance for success.
7:00 - A New Perspective
- Durrell reflects on how his perspective changed upon the death
of his brother.
- The common mantra is "Life is short. Live it up." Durell used
that phrase as an opportunity to live with purpose.
9:00 - Lessons From Failure
- As humans, we're able to see our highs after going through
lows. In short, we learn from our failures.
- Durell's first company designed renewable energy sources in the
developing world. The plan made sense, but he lacked funding, and
the vision was compromised. Durell began designing low-cost wind
turbines for homeowners in America, and unfortunately, there wasn't
a need for that particular solution. He drew strength from his
failure, and he studied it as well. As he started DC Design, those
lessons became valuable pieces of insight.
- Immersion is a great tool for learning. Durell emphasizes his
working class background forced him to design by necessity. He knew
there was no alternative solution if he couldn't build or learn
16:24 - Explaining DC Design
- DC Design is a social impact strategy and design consultancy.
They help people on the front lines of addressing social impact.
From criminal justice to foster care, DC Design wants to help world
changers deliver on their mission.
- The goal is to utilize the process of human-centered design. DC
Design wants to understand the needs of people who live through a
particular challenge. Going straight to the source helps
organizations to shape the process for change.
19:10 - What Is A Design Thinking Impact
- The goal is to connect with the souls of other people and build
them up. DC Design wants people to know they matter and can only be
brought down if they allow themselves to be.
- Design Thinking Impact Retreats are focused on helping people
who want to impact the world. They teach effective strategies that
help alleviate suffering.
- Social impact innovators attend these retreats. They're the
ones who see the news at night and want to effect change.
24:48 - A Unique Approach To Social
- It's the Average Joe who effects change, and we're all impacted
by social issues. We're all in it together as we're trying to make
- Durell's journey began when his first company failed. He'd been
focused on his work in other countries. However, he realized many
social issues affect us right here in the U.S. He wanted to design
ways to fight for social justice, address poverty, fight wildfires,
and champion prison reform right here "at home." Durell realized
the need to equip the people and organizations on the frontlines of
- We're not equipped to fight every issue, and DC Design wants to
help individuals realize which specific issues they're called to
champion. He also wants to learn from the experiences of those in
need, and use their insight to design change. The most effective
strategies for change come from within.
31:52 - A Notion Of Privilege
- The notion of privilege exists in many forms. Your education,
background, and physical appearance can all leave you with
privilege. Remember the Spiderman quote, "With great power comes great
responsibility." How are we using our privilege to call out
injustice and fight for restoration?
- Justice and redemption go together. We're quick to judge yet
slow to forgive. We need to create a space for restoration. Rather
than wanting people to suffer, we should focus on giving people the
opportunity for rehabilitation.
42:30 - How To Learn More
- Sign up for the DC Design
- Attend an Impact Retreat.
- Send your high school students to a Design The Future workshop.
Getting To Know Our Guest:
A Memorable Moment:
"We learn about issues when we start having conversations with
people about what they're going through."
- Durell Coleman
To visit the Business With Purpose website, click the