Design Global Change began as a University of Hartford course called Issues in Design created by Professor Natacha Poggio.
In Spring 2008, Natacha developed the Water for India sanitation campaign to partner the works of the Engineers Without Borders Student Chapter at the University of Hartford. The campaign for Abheypur, India began as an assignment for her students, but after the semester ended, the project kept moving forward. The student projects were sent to Abheypur, where the villagers reviewed the work and returned it with feedback.
Seven students from the class volunteered over the next four months to revise the chosen ideas and later traveled to Abheypur in January 2009 to implement the Water for India campaign, which included printed materials, t-shirts, and a mural at the local girls' primary school.
What began as an assignment for a grade grew into a fervent effort from the students and Natacha to continue using design as as a way to educate and empower people from Hartford to the nations beyond. Since the start of this project, the students collaborated with other disciplines and cultures. The social consciousness and awareness of those involved grew through the process of research and learning to design for a more universal audience.
With students, professors, and friends on board, Water for India team members continue to work together and became Design Global Change, a creative think-tank that continues to work on social impact initiatives with communities around the world.