Dagny Tucker is creating in design for social impact and cultural shift.
Using innovation, strategy, and design, her work pushes the boundaries of how we think about everyday decisions and builds the capacity in others to have real impact on today’s pressing issues. Her appointment with non-profit, business, and government players has traversed five continents and represents two decades of experience in strategy, innovation, management, and community engagement.
Words can be hollow: sustainability, fair trade, conflict resolution — but Dagny strives to put the fat meaning back onto the hackneyed bones of jargon. Sustaining means not only lasting but good, solid solutions to complicated issues. Fair trade means truly happy families, laughter, food from clean soil on both sides of the trade lines. Conflict resolution doesn’t mean buried in the sand or chilly relations, it means break through, break down, restart from the seeds of creation, it means sleep well at night knowing the children are safe.
She teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, was formerly the Managing Director of Strategic Global Affairs for New Hope Natural Media and Executive Director of the Peace Initiatives Institute. She is a Tishman Award recipient for “Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability,” and a Ph.D candidate at Univiersitat Jaume I in Spain.
What are you creating?
My creative focus is to inspire a culture shift toward awareness of the individual and collective capacity to influence and have a meaningful impact in our world. My current venture, Vessel, is a seemingly simple Trojan horse to make the impact of daily choices more visible and meaningful.
Vessel is the to-go revolution! Anyone can pick up and drop off their FREE reusable to-go mug at locations all over town! The service is free for users, provides a superior option to paper & plastic to-go cups and makes visible our throw-away culture.
In doing so we hope to make the paper cup obsolete and eliminate the 58 billion paper cups landfilled annually in the US alone. By allowing people to pickup and drop off these cups conveniently and at their leisure, Vessel not only reduces waste but demonstrates that despite our fast- paced lifestyles, sustainable choices are not only feasible but fun and easy.
Additionally Vessel is able to make the impact of these “little choices” meaningful. We show Vessel users how much waste they divert from landfills or how significant their purchase of fair trade coffee is for the people and places where that coffee is produced. These daily micro-investments impact the world and by seeing how- we can all be active in influencing the change we want to see!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the given and seemingly simple, yet mind blowing fact, that I (or any of us) are even alive! That we move, walk, talk, feel (and as women — nourish and grow these little creatures inside of us) is simply extraordinary to me.
The quirkiness of humanity is my brain-candy and the intricacies and grandeur of nature is my soul-soother. I am also inspired by the belief that we can do better — and even if not — we can have a hell of a good time trying!
Who has influenced your creative journey?
For me, it’s more like — who hasn’t influenced my creative journey!!!? More than any one person, I would say that travel and the willingness to be open to new experiences, people, and places has infinitely colored the kaleidoscope of my creative vision.
What’s been the biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise has been that life never seems “figured out.” That instead it is a myriad of iterations and a constant seeking of balance amidst the chaos. Of course — my lack of “ending up” or “figuring out” or “settling” just may be a consequence of the fact that my life hums with unceasing exploration!
How do you define success?
Success, for me, is maintaining grace and integrity while riding the edge and pushing the boundaries.