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Overcoming the Big Challenges

Showing how to solve problems innovators face. Certain challenges—questions of scaling and impact, measurement and evaluation—are endemic to social entrepreneurship. These stories illustrate how changemakers are addressing those challenges, and whether they’re finding success.

  • Creating systems to hold members of a community accountable for their decisions. Creating accountability
  • Creating long-term financial viability. Half the challenge of developing a good solution is ensuring its financial viability. Stories that fall under this category address how changemakers are building financially-sustainable solutions, so that money extends rather than limits their impact. Financial sustainability
  • How do ideas travel from place to place? These stories discuss the challenges of sharing and spreading ideas, and how changemakers help solutions flow across cities, states, and nations. Helping ideas spread
  • Evaluating whether it works. Measurement can be a daily process of gathering intelligence and feeding it back into the system, or a formal study of a solution’s effects and outcomes. Impact measurement
  • Analyzing, adapting to, and making use of failure. By embracing and understanding the lessons of a failed solution, changemakers can turn failure into a learning experience. Learning from failure
  • Executing and learning from a test-run. Executing a pilot run allows changemakers to test the viability of a solution in practice, explore possible changes, and gauge the community’s response. Piloting
  • Growing and replicating a solution, typically executed by a single organization. These stories address one critical question: How does a solution move from the pilot stage to wider implementation? Scaling
  • Engineering solutions to last. This often means a solution created and run by the people it affects, who will be more likely to keep it going. Stories under this category focus on long-term viability and sustained impact. Sustainability of the solution
  • Newest Stories

    German patients get the latest drugs for just $11. Can such a model work in the U.S.?

    German patients get the latest drugs for just $...
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    Portugal, drugs and decriminalisation

    Portugal, drugs and decriminalisation
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    Finally, an Intervention That Might Have Helped Keep High-Risk Teens Alive

    Finally, an Intervention That Might Have Helped...
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    Building Resilience and Preserving History in Charleston

    Building Resilience and Preserving History in C...
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    Black People Are Charged at a Higher Rate Than Whites. What if Prosecutors Didn't Know Their Race?

    Black People Are Charged at a Higher Rate Than ...
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    Paving, rumble strip installation underway at site of fatal May 5 crash

    Paving, rumble strip installation underway at s...
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    Reducing Poverty—Together

    Reducing Poverty—Together
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    Can You Reshape Your Brain's Response To Pain?

    Can You Reshape Your Brain's Response To Pain?
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    La Cruz Succeeds in Lowering Record Teen Pregnancy Numbers

    La Cruz Succeeds in Lowering Record Teen Pregna...
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    Blight is eating American cities. Here's how Mobile, Alabama, stopped it

    Blight is eating American cities. Here's how Mo...
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