Social innovators are bringing bold new approaches to the difficult problems that plague the world, from poverty and famine to climate change and disease eradication. To uncover the best ideas, What Matters has convened change makers from around the world to share their stories and their strategies.
Explore essays and interviews on the What Matters site, including the following:
Doug Ulman of LIVESTRONG describes how a simple band of yellow silicone democratized philanthropy and united a global community behind a common cause.
Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit behind Sesame Street) updates its cast of puppets to meet the changing needs of children around the world. And as CEO Melvin Mingexplains, these days the Sesame characters aren’t found only on TV.
Ian Craig, CEO of Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust, broke the “conservationists versus local community” impasse by involving the community and creating jobs.
Without significant funds or staff, neonatologist Armida Fernandez cut infant-mortality rates at a Mumbai hospital serving the city’s poorest almost in half. Her secret? A series of commonsense innovations.
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, says design thinking, which involves viewing problems from the end user’s perspective, could be an important tool for social innovators.
McKinsey’s Steve Davis calls on social innovators to search out solutions that can scale, calling it the social sector’s biggest challenge. Colleague Jonathan Bays says acquiring and analyzing big data is a strategy that can help them do so.
Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, describes how recombinant innovation helped create a new strain of rice that can survive weeks underwater—helping to stave off famine in flood-prone regions.
The next disruptive force in social innovation will involve a new, more rigorous approach that funnels resources to where they can do the most good, according to Jamie Cooper-Hohn, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
Serge Raicher, chairman of the European Venture Philanthropy Association, describes new ways of funding social innovation that combine the discipline of the market with the societal goals of philanthropy.
Michael Joseph, a fellow at the World Bank and former CEO of Safaricom, describes how a mobile-money service brought financial inclusion to Kenya’s unbanked