What happens when experts meet experts?

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Welcome to Independence Design™, a pilot project in applied innovation that aims to move the needle on national independence-building efforts.



Origin story.

Independence Design is the tale of two partners who wanted to do more. One, Darwin™, a national center for social impact with roots in Washington, headquarters in Pittsburgh, and wings across the nation. The other, action pact®, a frontlines maverick building independence in Southeast, rural Georgia.

A strategic branding engagement between the two partners revealed the opportunity for additional, innovative intervention. Introducing phase two of our pilot. Can we close the gap between individuals in poverty and the human service system built around them?

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Status quo, step aside.

When you imagine the anti-poverty movement, what do you see? Black and white images of Lyndon B. Johnson? Dust bowl diaspora?

Demographics are changing, technology is changing, culture is changing. Have our methods evolved along with them?

Lately, unlikely players are entering the scene to advance the cause and frontline organizations are exploring new methods to shake things up. Independence-building is undergoing a transformation.

Silos, stand down.

With the stakes so high and the roots of poverty so deep, we need all hands on deck to solve it.

Darwin and action pact, two courageous change-makers, are endeavoring to think and do differently.

Together, these two partners will combine a national perspective with a southern context to show what’s possible when we collaborate across sectors and geographies to build independence.


Fear, fail forward.

Independence Design is a pilot project in applied innovation (read: we’re trying things that have never been tried before). The goal? Achieve outcomes that have never been achieved before.

We anticipate to iterate and hope that you’ll join us. After all, this challenge is not unique and we do not possess superpowers.

We’ll be sharing updates along the way. Stay in the loop to learn from our peaks and valleys. Reach out if you’d like the full scoop.


Get involved.

Our mission includes recruiting local and national, private and public sector partners to match our commitment. We are calling upon foundations, private companies, grantors, and philanthropists to join us in this mission.

Interested? In addition to financial investment, there are plenty of other ways to get involved.