Autodesk creates global foundation to accelerate design-led revolution

Autodesk, Inc recently announced that they have launched the Autodesk Foundation, which will invest in and support the most impactful nonprofit organizations using the power of design to help solve epic challenges, such as climate change, access to water, and healthcare, among others.

In partnership with the company, the Autodesk Foundation will provide select design-oriented grantees with software, training and financial support.

“We have been delighted by the number of people using our technology to design a better world and solve global problems,” said Autodesk President and CEO Carl Bass. “These are the people who inspired us to align our philanthropic giving with our core business, to support more of these nonprofits to bring their ideas to market. We will also be encouraging the thousands of Autodesk employees to get involved in Foundation programs.”

“We believe that design offers humanity our greatest hope for addressing some of the most urgent, inter-connected and non-negotiable challenges of our time,” says President and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation and Autodesk Senior Director of Sustainability Lynelle Cameron. “We want to support and accelerate the design-led revolution currently underway, by investing in design-driven entities that are pursuing scalable solutions with measureable impact.”

Tackling epic challenges through impact design

Impact design focuses on generating significant, measurable progress toward solving today’s epic challenges – access to healthcare and education; clean energy and water; efficient transportation; or the many other global problems we face. Through the Foundation’s Impact Design Program, carefully selected nonprofits will receive funding, and in partnership with Autodesk, Inc., software and training to create solutions that address these challenges.

The program’s first grantees also include:

  • KickStart International, one of the Foundation’s pilot grantees, exemplifies impact design. The Foundation recently hosted four of their engineers from Kenya to come to San Francisco for a multi-week design software immersion and fabrication workshop. KickStart designs simple agricultural irrigation tools that help African farmers start profitable businesses and rise out of poverty.
  • MASS Design Group, which designs health facilities in parts of the world where they’re needed most. The Autodesk Foundation is supporting its efforts in rural Malawi to design maternal waiting homes, which are shelters for expectant mothers, enabling women who once waited until the onset of labor to travel to receive medical care and a safe hospital birth.
  • D-Rev, which designs and develops devices and products to improve the health and income of people living on less than $4 a day. Autodesk has helped fund crucial durability testing of the next generation of the organization’s ReMotion Knee, an inexpensive and easy-to-fit prosthetic for those in the developing world.

Employees contribute to the foundation goal

Autodesk’s employees play a significant role in the Foundation’s efforts to create a better world. Autodesk supports the 7,390 employees worldwide to volunteer with or donate to the nonprofit organizations they care most about. As part of the Foundation launch, Autodesk increased the annual donation matching commitment per employee and has made it easier to volunteer. Last year, Autodesk employees around the world volunteered more than 8,200 hours.

Providing critical disaster response

The Autodesk Foundation provides financial support and facilitates in-kind and technical support to areas struck by unexpected disasters. The company has most recently supported relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines and the tsunami stemming from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Autodesk and its employees have held various fundraisers and donated to charities and relief organizations including Doctors Without Borders, American Red Cross and Architecture for Humanity. Autodesk further supports disaster response efforts through matching employee donations with corporate funds.

About the Autodesk Foundation

The Autodesk Foundation invests in the most impactful people and organizations using design to solve epic challenges. As the first foundation exclusively focused on design for impact, the Autodesk Foundation directs investments to design-driven entities that are pursuing measurable and scalable solutions. For more information, visit or follow @AutodeskFdn.

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