Design the Future is a 6-day, fully immersive design thinking summer program. It partners teams of high school students with an individual living with a physical disability. Over the course of the program, students learn about disability and are taught to design solutions to real problems faced by their Project Partner. The program exposes high school students to real-world challenges; gives them a hands-on STEM education through the use of laser cutters, 3d printers, and other tools; and teaches them mindsets around conflict resolution and self-improvement. At the end of the program, each student group presents its final design and high-resolution prototype during a Project Partner and family attended presentation.

Design the Future was created by DC Design in 2015 and will launch in your city in 2019. Students receive design and manufacturing mentorship from the Lead Facilitators (head of the program), Coaches (university students or recent alums), and Project Partners (individuals living with disabilities who are passionate about mentorship).

Lead Facilitators run the show. The Design Lead Facilitator is the head of the coaching team and runs local on-the-ground operations.  She or he is a practiced teacher who is organized, relationship-minded, and adept at handling new situations. Experience in Design Thinking is a plus. A Tech Lead Facilitator will also be hired to support the Design Lead Facilitator and to mentor students in all matters having to do with engineering, materials, and shop. The Design Lead Facilitator will handle coordination before and during the camp, acting as the liaison between the local program and DC Design. During the program, Lead Facilitators teach modules, keep the schedule, ensure Coaches and Project Partners have what they need, and handle situations that arise. Before the camp, the Design Lead Facilitator schedules and executes a training with the Coaches and handles some lead-up logistics.  Lead Facilitators will be flown to California for a training in the first half of 2019.


  • Act as main point of contact with DC Design, remaining consistently communicative

  • Keep the schedule day to day, ensuring many moving pieces are all aligning

  • Calmly and responsibly manage conflict, crises, and other situations that arise among students and staff during the program

  • Collaborate with the Tech Lead Facilitator on decisions and responsibilities ahead of and during the program

  • Act as main point of contact with Project Partners during the program

  • Schedule and execute the Coaches Training

  • Act as head of the coaching team, getting to know the Coaches and ensuring they’re supported

  • Keep up the energy for the coaching team (6-12 Coaches + Tech Lead Facilitator) and students (30-60)

  • Handle logistics and coordination ahead of the program

  • Know the students better than anyone else

  • Coordinate with the university and/or makerspace when necessary on space, materials, A/V equipment, etc.

  • Keep long hours including preparation for next day, home depot runs, and clean up

  • Complete 3-day training in California in winter or spring of 2019