It seems as though the idea of using the power of design to address needs beyond is establishing a foot hold within the design world. Traditionally, design has been used as a service to industry to feed the needs/desires of a narrow 10% of consuming marketplace. But, have paid little more than lips service to the needs that were not defined by business.
Though the potential has been talked about for decades more tangible evidence is coming to light on how design thinking can be used in facilitating the discovery of solutions that could effect some of the worlds most pressing problems.
The Cooper Hewitt National Design Musuem's Exhibition, Design For the Other 90%, highlights projects that are focused on solving problems impacting the developing world.
Copper Hewitt Exhibition
Reflections on the Exhibition
Fast Company Article