While Studying At
Parsons School of Design

Team Credit

LEAP Entrepreneurship Club


Engagement Strategy Framework 


  • Service Design

  • Engagement Strategy

  • Design Thinking

Location & Year

New York, 2017


The collaboration between LEAP Entrepreneurship Club and Sure We Can originated with the objective of understanding Sure We Can’s role in the recycling system. By analysing how the facility functions through direct observations and background research, the aim was to create an Engagement Strategy Framework for the recycling hub to broaden their stakeholder engagement through a more strategic approach.

This framework outlines the potential growth and impact strategy for Sure We Can to engage with their stakeholders in order to reach their goals as a leading sustainability hub in New York City.


Sure We Can was founded in 2007 to provide canners a welcoming place to redeem and connect with others engaged in the same endeavour. Since then, it has experienced consistent growth, and in 2015 processed approximately 10 million cans and bottles for redemption. Sure We Can supports canners; the people who collect cans and bottles from the trash to recycle them. This activity helps them keep a roof over their heads, provide for their families and also reduces the amount of cans and bottles heading to landfills. From Sure We Can’s collection activities to their education programs, they promote social inclusion, environmental awareness and economic empowerment. 


We conducted a workshop at the facility where we learnt about the process of recycling, the stakeholders Sure We Can currently interacts with and what loopholes the management faces in terms of facilitating the space. We also interviewed the canners and staff while observing their daily duties to get an idea of the entire experience.


We arranged our observations from the canners and the administrative staff to compare the positive and negative feedback. By doing this, we were able to link different insights to one another to brainstorm possible solutions. We found that the main problems faced by this sustainability hub revolve around creating more storage space for the canners, finding a use for the mixed material and forging collaboration with the key players especially their relationship with their distributers.


The opportunity areas we proposed to Sure We Can complimented their existing programs as well as gave ideas for new initiatives that they might consider taking on. We highlighted the impact of awareness through their education and community engagement programs – and how they could further implement them.


Social media campaigns are the most cost effective way for them to promote the work they do and by collaborating with their distributors, they can endorse them as brands who are sustainable and adhere to the responsible packaging innovation law. Local schools and partners play a very important role in their ecosystem as well.


To maximise storage space at the facility, design students from local design schools could be invited to come up with innovative solutions that will be easy to implement in the existing space. Sure We Can can also collaborate with shipping container companies to provide old containers for storage space.