What is a Transformational & Actionable Social Impact Project?

Transformational and actionable. Is it jargon? A couple of flowery adjectives? 

Not at all! HFLI has defined criteria that foundations, nonprofits, entrepreneurial individuals and teams should drive toward on the road to social impact.

Transformational and Actionable(TM) GraphicTRANSFORMATIONAL PROJECTS:

  • address a root cause of an intractable problem
  • empower people to address future challenges more effectively
  • activate a shift in existing culture and behavior to create change


  • planned: budget, timeline, next steps
  • viable: context is conducive to the idea
  • feasible: physically possible to do


HFLI’s Social Innovation Studio is a facilitated experience that features activities and tools grounded in human-centered design, a non-judgmental, collaborative culture, and skilled, empathetic coaches. HFLI’s three process-based Social Innovation Studio configurations support social impact projects in various states of development and readiness. Participants enter the Studio experience with a desire for impact, a pressing question, or an area of interest. Through an intentional blend of process, culture, and team, they emerge with:

  • a refined social project that is both transformational and actionable
  • capacity and confidence to be a collaborative social innovator

Quote from Ford employee about HFLI support for social impact projectSponsor a Studio for your social impact ecosystem. Empower people like L’Nard Tufts, whose social impact team at Ford had a promising, but underdeveloped solution to address lack of access to essential personal care items for the homeless. Following an immersive HFLI Studio experience, their refined mobility project Ford Mo/Ve Community Vending won $250,000 from the Bill Ford Better World Challenge to make it a reality.


Contact us at designthinking@hfli.org to learn more.

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