Veronika Scott: From product designer to social activist to non-profit CEO

On Thursday, October 10th,  at 7:30PM in the Ferris State University Student Center Ballrooms, the FSU Arts and Lectures Committee will be hosting an evening with Veronika Scott.

Veronika Scott is a Detroit-based Industrial Designer turned social activist.  During her college studies at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, she majored in Product Design.  During her course of study, one project tasked her with creating a product to serve a social need.  Keenly aware of the plight of the homeless in Detroit, Scott designed an elegant, heat retaining, water-resistant coat that converts to an actual sleeping bag. 

Scott maintained contact with the local homeless population and after considering the commentary of one recipient of the coat, “Veronika, we don’t need coats, we need jobs . . .” she took her design and transformed it into a small social revolution.  She started the “Empowerment Plan” non-profit organization.  Her non-profit not only employs and trains homeless women how to manufacture the coat itself, but also provides job training, to allow the homeless to become full time seamstresses so they can “earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back independence for themselves and their families.”  So far, scores of homeless people have found stable employment through the foundation and hundreds of coats have been distributed to the needy on Detroit’s streets.

Scott was name one of Crain’s Detroit Business “Twenty in their Twenties,” has received the JFK New Frontier Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and was named a “CNN Hero” in 2016.  She also was recognized by the Industrial Design society of America with the IDSA IDEA Gold Award. 

Scott continues to engage in social activism on behalf of the homeless and is a dynamic, inspiring and much-in-demand speaker.