A little bit of good is always worth it.

New York City showed up for Good Measure.

I’m sitting at my desk in Houston, diving back into the agency work that was waiting for me, and I can’t help but wonder how we pulled this weekend off.

In the span of 72 hours, we created a full toolkit of brand identity and UX/UI design, strategy, copywriting, photo and video, and web development for a mission-minded nonprofit.

That alone should thrill me. It’s almost like this burden has been released from my shoulders—like okay, Alex, Good Measure isn’t that crazy. We’ve done this three times now, each with a different nonprofit project and team. It’s definitely possible.

A hundred people showed up from across New York City, each with a different skillset across design, copywriting, strategy, web development, videography and more. They came together for a weekend(!!), just a weekend. And yes, we got the work done. The team created a beautiful identity system, website and storytelling pieces for our nonprofit project.

But Good Measure is much more than that.

If you didn’t know, we worked with a newly-named nonprofit project called Grounded. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, its founders include Emmy award-winning filmmakers Alan Spearman and Mark Adams, former White House Photographer during the Obama Administration, Amanda Lucidon, and Sister Peace, a nun in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, who collaborate on an ongoing basis with talented key artists, musicians and creatives.

Grounded works in Memphis neighborhoods, with juvenile detention facilities and schools, and builds teams of student collaborators to creatively address youth violence in Memphis. Their work makes space in communities for expression in service of mindfulness.

While you can see a glimpse of the brand identity within some press we’ve received for Good Measure NYC, their team is planning a more formal launch to make the most of their journey together.

The founders have spent countless hours planning for the future of their organization, and we want to make sure we are mindful of their existence as an entity in the world and continue to respect the collaborating artists’ contributions. Thus, we won’t publish the new website or videography until their team is ready for launch. But stay tuned.

We were also lucky enough to lay the foundation for a gun violence campaign, launching by Ueno and Good Measure later in the year. The numbers are staggering. 14,719 people (not including suicides) died last year in America due to gun violence. That’s forty every day.

But those numbers don’t mean anything to us anymore. We’re numb to statistics, dead to data, immune to research.

What will it take for us to care about the numbers again?

We’ll explore the role that creatives can have in that conversation through this project, launching in June for Gun Violence Awareness month. Be on the lookout, and if you want to be involved (individually, or as an agency), let me know and we’ll make it happen. This conversation should be collective.

The work happened. That’s easy to see.

What’s harder to see is the community that was built in the span of two-and-a-half days. As a founder of Good Measure, the ambition is to do inspiring and effective work—but it’s also to see participants leave the weekend with a desire to affect change throughout the world.

And I was blown away.

My hope is that each and every individual who attended sees the impact that our craft skills can make. We certainly can volunteer our time and work with nonprofits, but the real question is whether we can return to our day jobs, to clients with big budgets and capitalistic mindsets, and influence their decisions—to push them from opportunistic to purposeful.

Who says that we can’t leverage the power and might of corporations for progress? Who says that we can’t be the arbiters of good? We’re just as equipped as anyone else.

Agencies are ready for change. Design for good, design for change, design for impact. Whatever you call it, we can lend a voice to those without one, give people dignity back, and advocate for societal and systematic change.

Advertising is lacking purpose— and it’s hurting our industry.

If a nomadic agency with purpose can come into a new city, and refresh a hundred people to do good, imagine what a city could pull off if agencies were aligned on the type of businesses they’d like to be.

To all involved, thank you. Grateful always.

Shout out to Liz and Ueno, who championed us, hosted us, and made us feel like every moment mattered. (Y’all better go sign up for their debut conference, like, right now.)

Big thanks to Upstatement, for being a driving force in the world and sending talented people from Boston to speak into our gun violence campaign.

And of course, SO grateful to Alekza and Gabs, who are the BEST people I know and gave us plenty of space at ACE Content to fight the good fight and stayed up late with us every night.

To my Good Measure team who traveled with us and killed it on the logistics game, you were essential to this outcome. And to Tres, my co-conspirator and friend. Appreciate you greatly.

We had participants from Iceland, San Diego, Los Angeles, Missouri, Massachusetts, Memphis, Houston and New York — people who paid their own way to get to NYC and treated this project just as seriously as any other.

We’re headed to Los Angeles next. Good things are coming!

*photography by Kyle Buthod