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How Brands at SXSW Are Creating Businesses for Good (And How You Can Too)

March 12, 2019 at 10:07PM
How Brands at SXSW Are Creating Businesses for Good (And How You Can Too)


This year at SXSW, brands across industry, from healthcare to housing to design, are all about making an impact beyond the bottom line. There’s a collective reckoning taking place that brands, especially in new tech spaces, have just as much capacity to leave a lasting positive impact as they do a negative one. 

Brands creating products for the consumers focused on making sure their core values embedded inclusivity, design thinking for human-centered business practices, sustainability and equity directly into their business models from the outset. It’s not just for the greater good, it’s also good for business

Take EarnUp, a financial technology company that seeks to help vulnerable communities bypass predatory payday lenders through their financial management platform. With their technology ‘30% of EarnUp users report fewer missed payments since they started using the application, based on a 2018 internal study. In addition, 80% of EarnUp's users report that they were able to automate their loan payments for the first time,’ according to EarnUp President and Co-Founder, Nadim Homsany.

Also in attendance was EverlyWell, a health and wellness company based in Austin that works with doctors and medical labs in order to deliver a personalized and actionable understanding of a customer’s health with 30+ at-home lab tests including tests for food sensitivity, cholesterol, women’s health and STDs. 

Then there was The New School itself, who’s Dean of Fashion Burak Cakmak, along with faculty Brendan McCarthy in partnership with refugees and the United Nations Population Fund lead a panel on developing menstrual undergarments through collaboration and iteration with those who will be using the product. 

What do all of these initiatives have in common? They champion transparency and are actively invested in improving society through putting people first.

Do you have a brand, initiative or company that you would like to infuse with the sort of human-centered approaches to make a positive impact in the world? Open Campus has certificate programs and the network to help you get there.


 Harness the power of the design process to create and develop your own socially innovative business, or master strategies for leading socially-conscious initiatives within your company. 


 This online course of study immerses students in design thinking methodologies, enabling them to address business challenges across industries. Students emerge equipped to lead innovation and implement creative strategies that inspire new perspective in a range of business roles or opportunities.


A program ideal for practitioners working in healthcare settings who want systems-focused, design-driven tools for improving service delivery and developing entrepreneurial opportunities, and for creatives seeking new skills in user-based  research, design, and innovation. 



Thinking about an alternative to an MBA? Parsons has created this program to give passionate and dedicated professionals the tools they need to take their industries to the next level. The Global Executive Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management is thoughtfully designed with the needs of working professionals in mind. Cohort members complete the program in 18 months and are required to take only 18 days away from the office. You can learn more about the program here.


Written by Morgan Ersery for Open Campus



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