Mindful Millennials

Week 2 of the quarter is underway. Today, I presented my final scoping and initial research planning for my work in progress, ‘Mindful Millennials.’ 


The goals of the project are to diffuse education through the millennial age group about sustainability, create community connection, and encourage lifestyle improvements to live more sustainably. My theory for the project is if you provide meaningful context, and the tools for change, then each individual will apply this information to their lives as they see fit.

The key though, in my eyes, is the meaningful part. 

We are bombarded every day with incredible amounts of information. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, newsletters, emails... it’s constant. So what makes information stick? What do Millennials want to know about sustainability and the world around them? How can we reconnect people to nature, and harness the power of social media and technology to do so? It may seem like an oxymoron, connecting people to nature with technology, but I believe with tailored, specific messages, and tools for local connection, this can be achieved.

With a lot of strategy, and a little luck, I’m hoping an app can serve as three leverage points based on Donella Meadows' Thinking in Systems book. She points out that information flows can wreak havoc on the functionality of a system. Without the right information to the right people, systems will fail. I want to create smooth information flows about sustainability topics that are important to people. Additionally, she says self-organization is a powerful leverage point and tool for change. Social media seems like it could serve as this perfect platform for this kind of leverage. Finally, even though it has less impact than other points, she believes numbers are a place to start when it comes to change. Numbers, meaning every little person doing something good, leads to change over time. Every time someone uses a reusable bag versus a plastic one, that’s a number, and it does have an effect, even if it’s minor. I’m hoping that with context and tools, comes lifestyle changes, even if they’re just little numbers.

Moving forward with this framing, I’m starting to dive into contextual research about content strategy, user experience design, desired sustainable lifestyle changes, and social innovation. I’m excited to move forward, and hopefully come out with worthwhile design to connect millennials to sustainability and their communities. Any feedback or connections to resources would be greatly appreciated. 


We all have impact, negative and positive. How can I use this design to facilitate more of the positive?

Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation. 
— Charles Cook

thumbnail image source: FastCompany