Making Design Matter: A panel and discussion on what happens when we measure what we design

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019


How do we know that what we design is working?
When and why do we measure our impact? How do we even begin?
And who decides what matters?


Join us for a lively moderated discussion that will focus on these questions and more to explore the why, how and what of measuring what we design. You can expect to gain insight into social impact design projects and different ways to measure impact; celebrate successful application of replicable or scalable methodologies, strategies or frameworks; and openly discuss challenges and opportunities of measuring the impact of what we design.


featured panelists

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Impact Entrepreneurs, Portland State University


Jacen Greene leads PSU's Impact Entrepreneurs, a set of social innovation programs housed in the School of Business, and is a co-founder of PSU's Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative. At PSU, he teaches courses and field studies, co-designed and manages the Certificate in Social Innovation, co-designed the Business Minor in Social Innovation, started the B Impact PSU consultancy, and oversees an award-winning case writing program. He also serves as Change Leader for PSU's Changemaker Campus designation, and sits on Ashoka U's global Network Advisory Committee. 

Jacen has previously worked or taught in India, China, Cambodia, Uganda, Honduras, and Nicaragua. He graduated Beta Gamma Sigma with an MBA in sustainability from Portland State University and magna cum laude with a B.A. in China Studies from Willamette University.

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Grouptrail (formerly FMYI)


Justin Yuen is CEO of Grouptrail (formerly FMYI), a visual database for goal tracking software company with a focus on school districts and nonprofits working with youth and families. The user friendly and highly configurable platform has been used by the New York City Department of Education, Portland Public Schools, College Access: Research & Action, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Oregon MESA, Nike, Sony, Aflac, HBO, Hyatt, Disney, Scholastic, the UK National Health Service, and thousands of other nonprofits, schools, government agencies, and companies. Grouptrail/FMYI has been covered by the New York Times, Businessweek, TechCrunch, and more.

Before launching the company, Justin was a Senior Manager in Corporate Sustainable Development at Nike, Inc. Prior to that, Justin was Nike's head of Quality for the Europe/Middle East/Africa region in the Netherlands. Justin is the Board Chair of The Street Trust, on the Board of Trustees for the National Crittenton Foundation, and the Leadership Council of the Oregon Community Foundation. He has a degree in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University.



Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL), Department of County Human Services


Mary is the Director of the Multnomah Idea Lab (MIL). The MIL, part of the Multnomah Department of County Human Services, is charged with seeking policy and innovation within the human services and government sectors. The MIL seeks to positively change community conditions resulting from poverty and racism by practicing human-centered design, seeking out critical thinking and research, and conducting applied research tests in the real world.


Panel moderator


Valerie Armstrong

Context Partners


VALERIE ARMSTRONG is a design strategist and art director with Context Partners. In her work, she pushes for creative and inclusive methods to capture the complex, interwoven cultures of the communities with which she works. She envisions a world where every designer, and every design, contributes to equitable solutions to real, human problems.







Want to learn more about applying social impact design to your work or life?

Check out these the work of our partner organizations:

  • Social Impact Lab — The PDX Spring 2019 lab will launch in late April in partnership with Portland Fire & Rescue’s Blueprint for Success project. Click here to learn more.

  • Wayfinder Workshops — The next workshop is part of Design Week Portland 2019. Click here to learn more.

And don’t forget to sign up below to receive occasional updates about this community of practice from the b:ask collective.