Our Impact In 2021

Written By Liz Hunt

Published March 24, 2022

oaxin’s innovation center in suchilquitongo with concrete walls, a ventilated metal roof, wooden workbenches, and hundreds of hand- and power-tools

A lot happened in 2021 (in the world, in our business, and in our lives).

Our founders spoke at several conferences, including Spring’s Business Resilience Program and Vancouver Startup Week.

Midway through the year, we began offering consulting services in addition to workshops. By the end of 2021, we’d co-created with 15 organizations (10 of which had a social and/or environmental impact). We loved getting to know these folks, and are grateful to have been invited to help shape their organizations’ products and programs.

As a human-centered innovation consultancy, Smith Assembly teaches purpose-driven organizations how to revolutionize their design and development practices. Our approach is participatory and co-creative — ideally involving our clients plus their stakeholders, users, and communities — so solutions center all their experience and knowledge. We help teams integrate inclusion, equity, and sustainability into everything they do. This results in organizations that disrupt the status quo and deliver exceptional products and programs for their stakeholders and humanity.

Ta and Smith Assembly were featured as one of the 50 impact entrepreneurs and ventures to receive a scholarship to SOCAP21.

Smith Assembly became a B Corp™ in December with a score of 124.3. The certification process (preparing the application, finalizing all our supporting documentation, and completing verification) took almost the entire year, but felt super gratifying. As individuals, the greatest power we have to change the status quo is choice — choosing how we invest our time and spend our money. When we align our activities, purchases, and endorsements with our beliefs, we send a powerful message about what matters to us and what business should invest in.

In 2021, like many folks around the world, we also experienced health and immigration challenges (which were exacerbated by a global pandemic).

We’re still purpose- and impact-driven.

We donate 5% of our revenue every year to community-led nonprofits fostering local innovation and participate in 1% for the Planet.

In 2021, we continued our partnership with OAXIN — an organization driving social and economic justice in the Mexican state of Oaxaca through a community maker space and participatory programs teaching inclusive and collaborative innovation practices.

Estrella Soto, Co-Director of OAXIN, told us…

Thanks to Smith Assembly’s contributions we equipped Enoc’s innovation center in Suchilquitongo. This helped and encouraged Enoc to dedicate himself full time to the workshop. We added doors, installed electricity, and bought tools. He now also works independently on his own projects designing new local technologies in Oaxaca.

As you know, OAXIN is a relatively new organization and we look for sustainable schemes that allow us to continue co-creating technologies with communities. Your contributions also supported a microcredit scheme in San Mateo del Mar, in which we designed several totopos presses and a pedal-powered machine (all made by Enoc) that the women of the community could test and buy without any negative impact on their incomes. Now we are working with the local authorities in that same community to design a new water technology.

All this with the Smith Assembly resources!

Our annual membership fees fulfilled our giving commitment in 2021 to 1% for the Planet.

In 2021, our founders volunteered 23.25 hours.

We’d love to co-create with *you* in 2022!

Let’s chat — we can get to know each other a bit, talk about your organization’s goals and challenges, and see how Smith Assembly can help.