Design For Social Enterprise

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 6:30pm

The Faculty of Design invites you to join us for a lecture on Toronto-based social enterprise ME to WE by Associate Director and lead artisan designer Kessa Laxton.

Ms. Laxton's will talk about ME to WE as a model of a successful social enterprise, how they leverage the artisanal skills of over 1500 women in Kenya and Ecuador to design for a North American market, and the challenges and rewards of creating products intended for prominent retailers like Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and Fossil when your factory is a village. 


About ME to WE:

As an innovative social enterprise that provides products that make an impact, ME to WE empowers people to change the world with their everyday consumer choices. ME to WE measures the bottom line by the people empowered and the lives transformed. By creating options for consumers like you who want to make informed decisions about what you experience and buy, knowing your actions will help empower people and transform lives, making the world a better place.

About Kessa Laxton:

Kessa Laxton's creative genius drives ME to WE Artisans, from searching Nairobi markets for unique textiles to creating on-trend pieces at our atelier in partnership with mamas in Kenya and Ecuador. In a highly collaborative environment, every artisan is inspired to bring her own input and inspiration to the table. Kessa's eye for exclusivity and quality craftmanship continues to elevate each timeless collection. Aligned with the ME to WE philosophy, Kessa is also the founder of Patouche, a children's clothing company with a strong focus on great design and sustainability. Patouche has been featured in a number of publications including Canadian Family, Today's Parent and Eco Parent.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street Auditorium MCA190
Kessa Laxton Talks Design for Social Enterprise
Digital Screen: 

OCAD University teams competing for $1 million Hult Prize

Photo of Team Zero members
Photo of Team Jade members
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 5:00am

Two teams from OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program will soon travel to regional rounds of competition for the $1 million Hult Prize. The prize awards the best social enterprise that can double ten million people’s income by the year 2020.

Team members in the Jade Initiative, Courtney Cooper, Vincent Galante, Ziyan Hossain and Lisa Hart, are heading to Shanghai to pitch their idea to leverage the value of trash to create meaningful jobs and clean cities in the developing world. The city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for example, has 100,000 people who make their living as waste-pickers. The Jade Initiative would take these people out of the dump and create franchise opportunities and networks for entrepreneurs around recycling collection, on-demand junk removal and waste aggregation services.

OCAD U’s second group, Team Zero, is travelling to the regional competition in Boston. Calla Lee, Melissa Tullio and Christine McGlade will be pitching their idea to manage food waste. The idea would employ women in developing countries to collect food waste from restaurants, compost it and then sell it to urban farmers as fertilizer. Most megacities in developing countries don’t have any municipal compost collection.

The Hult Prize regional competitions are happening March 11 and 12.