We’re excited to announce that former Inhabitat editor Emily Pilloton, and superstar founder of humanitarian design organization Project H Design, has just made her TED video debut speaking about her latest project: using design education as a means for social change in a rural Bertie County, NC.

 TED, TED Talk, Design for Change, Emily Pilloton, project h design, bertie county, north Carolina, design. Build. Transform., rural America, rural areas, humanitarian design, green design, design education

In February 2009, Emily and her Project H partner Matthew Miller moved to Bertie County, North Carolina – the poorest and most rural country in the state – with the aim of transforming the Bertie through their experimental “Design. Build. Transform.” program. More than just a town hindered by mounting poverty, Bertie County is representative of a malady plaguing rural regions across the U.S. and around the world, as a significant majority of the world’s population flee from rural areas in favor of locations more densely concentrated around larger metropolises. Together with her partner, Emily’s “Design. Build. Transform.” program takes a new approach to resolving the continuous deterioration of communities like Bertie. Rather than pulling from outside resources to ambiguously fill the physical voids of the area, “Design. Build. Transform.” focuses on empowering locals by equipping them with the necessary education and skills they need to actively re-think their role in sustaining and developing their community, all while making a meaningful contribution through individual action. Jump ahead for Emily’s fascinating TED talk!