This is a story in potent creative thinking - one that starts from the simplest beginnings, helping a neighborhood and one non-profit organization, and quickly leads to a nationwide movement where thousands of designers are now helping groups in need. If you like seeing smart innovative problem-solving that will inspire you, WATCH THIS. And you may ask yourself, what else can we achieve with 1%?

This keynote address by John Peterson (bio below) is from this year's GIMME SHELTER, a symposium on human shelter and sustainability held in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Fountain Street Church. GIMME SHELTER is a presentation of the Duncan Littlefair Great Speakers.


John Peterson is the founder of Public Architecture and source of the 1% program, encouraging architects and designers to devote one percent of their time to pro bono work. Public Architecture puts the resources of architecture in the service of the public interest. They identify and solve practical problems of human interaction in the built environment and act as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy and the design of public spaces and amenities.

Begun in 2005, the program dubbed the 1% Solution aims at getting architectural firms to contribute one percent of their billable hours annually to socially responsible initiatives. In other words, making it standard practice to allocate time and staff to do the right thing. The program uses a database of non-profits with specific needs to let design firms see where there talents and time can be best used.

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