AIGA Innovate Idea Session

What does it mean to be truly innovative? We believe designers have a unique capacity to be agents of change. Together we, as the collective voice of design have an extraordinary pool of talent to draw from as we look to the future and aim to continually optimize our membership engagement while offering leadership opportunities. As designers, our members solve the world’s problems all day, and so it stands to reason that these talented creatives are the perfect people to help shape AIGA’s future and relevance in the world.

AIGA Innovate is a four-year long fund with up to $250,000 to be awarded each year. Established in 2015, it aims to support and empower members and chapters in a whole new way. We recognize that this program is an exchange platform through which we can learn about our membership improve the sustainability and leadership challenges of our chapters, and the relationship of designers to their respective communities.


AIGA Philadelphia is hosting an idea session on Saturday, March 28 at 9am at WeWork Northern Liberties. We will briefly explain how the AIGA Innovate fund works and spend time generating and discussing potential ideas. We are limiting the number of participants to ensure a productive and collaborative session. Have questions or want more information, contact Lauren Dougherty.

Application period 
AIGA Innovate application round one is now open from February 23 to April 21:
AIGA Innovate application

Download and read the information packet
Read this updated informational PDF for AIGA Innovate 2017: in it, you'll find additional details like application information, funding criteria, selection processes, deadlines, and more.


We want your ideas to blow our minds, but like all grant applications, there are a few goals to keep in mind. Proposed projects must:

  • Align with the mission and direction of AIGA

  • Illustrate one or more of AIGA's core values (design excellence, leadership, equity, and impact, with an emphasis on categories: leadership and social impact)

  • Be developed in collaboration with a chapter's board of directors–a project ccannot be submitted by an individual member without the endorsement of the board

  • Meet a concrete, specific need in the community and identify a partner with whom you can develop this project, such as a nonprofit community association, a civic entity, a school, or expert resource.

  • Offer effective tools, resources, platforms, and strategies to facilitate active memebr participationand civic engagement at large

  • Be innovative: provoke new thinking about the practice, education, or understanding of design, demonstrate inspiraiton, and model new ways to engage designers in their communities

  • Your project must be executable and sustainable within proposed resources.

  • Consider the need for the impact of your project to serve both the variety of constituencies of AIGA members and to encourage participation among underrepresented groups.

Who can apply?

  • All applications must be submitted with the approval and participation of your local AIGA chapter board and the signature of your chapter president. AIGA Innovate grants are awarded to chapters, not to individual members.

  • Any individual leading a project and submitting on behalf of their chapter must 1) be a current AIGA member and 2) develop the application in collaboration with their AIGA chapter

Note: AIGA Innovate grants are not a stipend for individual chapter activity or one-time special events. Instead, this fund should be considered an opportunity for additional means to prototype an exciting new project for the wider organization.

To learn more, read the informational packet and review the AIGA Innovate FAQ’s page.

When & Where
Sat, Mar 25, 2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
WeWork Northern Liberties
1010 North Hancock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123