“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Just make a difference

Michael Beirut in his recent piece about graphic design in the age of social media highlights amazing moments and not so effective. At the end he writes:

The graphic designer who has played the most dramatic role in the rise of Occupy Wall Street, isn’t Shepard Fairey or Jake Levitas. On September 24, 2011, a group of peaceful protesters in Manhattan were pepper sprayed by police officers. The incident was captured on video and posted to YouTube, where it has been viewed over 1.5 million times. “When the pepper-spray video came out, that was the hook,” said an activist in the Vanity Fair oral history. “That’s what made people focus on Occupy Wall Street.” The central figure in the video is a woman named Chelsea Elliott, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a graphic designer.

Sometimes, the key to political change isn’t designing a logo or poster. It’s simply having the courage to show up and make your voice heard, no matter what the cause —and no matter what the risk.

It’s true regardless who the person was, but the fact that she was from SCAD gave me (as a SCAD professor) huge hope.

SCAD for many reasons lacks the intense political fervor that I grew up with at Cal Berkeley. And I’ve missed it. Programs like Design Ethos’ “Doference” are amazing events but lack the strident angst that I expect and want from a university setting.

I’m so glad that Chelsea Elliot for a single moment found her courage (the hardest part) and thus her voice (even if serendipitous in its outcome) and acted.

What are you going to do?

My last truly political act (besides simply voting & typing) was walking streets in Philadelphia for now President Barack Obama. Seeing Pennsylvania go Blue in 2008 was an amazing end to my 30s and a general highlight of my life. I ran into the streets of Ft. Greene Brooklyn later that night with hundreds if not thousands of of immediate friends amazed at what we believed to be the biggest national grassroots campaign of our age.

What are you going to do? Why are you waiting? What’s your issue?

Be it!

Scream it!

Do it!

— Engage!

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