We need to revolutionise
social impact work



Jessica Oddy headshot

I'm Jessica Oddy 


As you may have guessed by now, I am passionate about designing meaningful equity centred projects.

I've spent over 13 years working in the social impact sector; from small grassroots organisations to working in the United Nations. In all of these spaces, although there have been some incredible social actions, I found that often, the people most impacted by an issue, were the furthest away from decision-making and agenda setting.

I believe inclusivity is the hallmark of effective programming. If we want to tackle global challenges, we need diverse input- and this is why Design for Social Impact Lab was born.

Now I use what I’ve learned to help people just like you design equity-centred programmes, policies and research. I’ll show you how to co-create impactful projects, innovative strategies, and practical tools that will empower you to leverage design as a force for social good.

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Challenge Inequity

Learn to create socially just solutions that address systemic inequities, avoiding saviourism and centring equity in your social impact projects.

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Empower Change

Design for Social Impact equips you with the tools and knowledge to drive positive social change, putting the power of design into your hands.

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Create Lasting Impact

Discover how to design projects that make a real, lasting difference, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate world.



I come from a background where I saw first-hand how life's opportunities aren't evenly distributed. I grew up in a diverse, working-class family in the UK that depended on social support. Initially working as a youth worker, and later, training as a teacher, I learnt first hand how important it is for any project, be it research, policy or programmes, to be community-centred, culturally sensitive, and rooted in the real needs and aspirations of the community they aim to serve.

After teaching, I worked as a humanitarian aid worker in over 15 countries, and completed  a PhD exploring youth programming and inequities in the aid system. Based on all this knowledge, I want to create a unique social enterprise, and programmes  for people who want to do socially-just social impact work.

"Jess is a brilliant scholar, professional, and educator. She blends a wealth of scholarly knowledge, innovative ideas, and practical experience into her discussions. Her work is powerful and important."

- Dr. Hedy Lahman, Harris School of Public Policy

"Tapping into Jess's vast experience in the social impact sector, particularly her experience in designing equity-centred programmes with young people, has been critical for me as a solo social entrepreneur setting up a youth focused organisation."

- Salima Abdullah, CEO Real Live Events- Youth

"She brings a valuable and critical perspective that draws on her wealth of experience as a practitioner and research and has helped my students think about how to do humanitarian aid in a way that is more equitable, peaceful, and just."

- Dr. Amy Kapit, Swarthmore College



I don't propose to have all the answers! In signing up for our programmes, you will get access to seasoned social impact practitioners, who bring a wealth of experience to support you with your learning goals.

You can read more about our incredible non-executive team below  who help steady the ship.

We are in the midst of onboarding our incredible coaching team. What I can say is that what truly sets us apart is many of our facilitators, bring lived experience to the table. They've been recipients of social impact projects and policies themselves, and this unique perspective challenges the traditional narrative of expertise in the sector.

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Non-Executive Director  | Manjinder Singh


Manjinder Singh Sidhu (Mani) is a human rights activist, author and speaker who has worked for prestigious organisations around the world such as the United Nations, Governments and NGOs. He decided to turn his attention towards his own tribe: LGBTQ+ South Asians after the lack of awareness and support from his community. He produces video blogs in various languages to help other LGBTQ+ South Asians and offers life coaching to empower individuals to make change happen. He works alongside Stonewall and Barnardos and was voted as one of the most influential LGBTQ+ activists in the UK by the Independent’s Rainbow List, The National Diversity Awards and Attitude Awards. His book Bollywood Gay, a self help book based on the principles of the Law of Attraction is an Amazon No1 Bestseller. 

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Non-Executive Director  | Marie Williams 

Marie Williams
is a playful chartered engineer, design lecturer, TedX speaker and CEO of Dream Networks.  Her design practice is situated in communities and focuses on designing in a circular, regenerative, and culturally resilient manner, In 2016, she founded Dream Networks, and has collaborated with businesses, schools, and communities to co-design and build engaging play spaces in economically deprived communities around the world. To date, Dream Networks has adopted sustainable design practices to create inclusive play spaces for over 60,000 children in the UK and Africa.

Marie is an advocate for children's right to change the spaces they inhabit through play and design practices that prioritise the needs of the community and the environment. Through her Ph.D. at the UCL Institute of Global Prosperity within the Bartlett School of Architecture, she has developed a critical blueprint for cultivating sustainable outdoor play spaces in urban poor communities through co-design and a deep understanding of place and materiality. She has lectured on design, innovation, and sustainability at renowned Universities in the UK, Kenya, and the USA such as Bristol university and Yale

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Senior Research Advisor  | Desiree Acholla

Désirée Acholla’s professional work and research focuses on the humanitarian and international development sector. As a social impact consultant with Inararibonye Advisors, she supports non-profit organisations and community-oriented enterprises to embed justice and equity in their work. With growing criticism of harm caused in the name of ‘doing good,’ she is interested in understanding how aid organisations (and the experts they rely on) have responded to calls to decolonise the sector.

Through a case study of ODI, a global affairs think tank based in London and with funding from the South, West, and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, Désirée is exploring this topic as a Collaborative Doctoral Award student in History at the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. Her forthcoming research findings will be available in a portfolio on DecoloniseDevelopment.org.

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Head of People & Operations | Helena Mushili O’Neill

Helena Mushili O’Neill specialises in people operations programme management in the impact sector. An intersectional eco-feminist, she has 15+ years’ experience on five continents, including UK social services and public health, gender and climate adaptation in Kenya and Zambia, disability services in Australia, and language schools in Vietnam. A teacher’s daughter and ex-social worker, Helena believes in the power of education and intervention to transform lives. She also believes in the power of thorough but light-touch project management methodology to help deliver tangible, measurable impact. She joined Design for Social Impact in Dec 2023 on a part-time basis to support with embedding organisational strategy, culture and systems across the growing global remote team. To learn more about her consultancy skills, connect via Linked In or visit littlenow.org

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Vimbai Mandaza

Driven by a passion for health equity and informed by lived experience, Vimbai Mandaza leverages a strong research skill set to tackle health disparities in minority and Black communities. Skilled in research, policy analysis, and community engagement, she brings a nuanced understanding to her work. Cross-continental experience conducting research and community projects (Africa and Europe) has honed her ability to engage diverse populations and advocate for change. Her commitment to social change is evident in her current role leading an NIHR-funded project to reduce health inequities in Black communities. Her proven ability in project management, data analysis, and outreach positions her for impactful contributions to health equity research consulting.

Desiree Acholla headshot

Senior Research Associate | Elise Denis-Ramirez

Elise Denis-Ramirez is a Danish-Chilean researcher and consultant with almost 10 years of experience in the third and private sector. Her specific expertise covers sexual and reproductive health, abortion rights, gender-based violence and youth-led approaches across research and activism. Elise has a background in Human Rights Law (MA from SOAS, School of Law, University of London) and Public Health (MSc from University of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health).

Elise is inspired by and advocates for the use of arts-based methods in co-design approaches. She is committed to critically engaging in participatory research and project work that is creative, gender transformative and intersectional.With a focus on feminist approaches, her PhD research explored the complexities of sexuality, autonomy, and abortion in Chile through creative co-production with young people. Elise is a co-founder of the Sex, Research & Resistance Podcast. More on LinkedIn.


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