Solutions Insights Lab

The Solutions Insights Lab is informed by our interest in identifying and interrogating what’s working — and what’s not — in a specific sector or field and supporting research and dialogue to advance problem-solving knowledge for a point of inquiry.

We are interested in bringing the elements of solutions reporting regularly used by journalists to philanthropists, policymakers and change agents to support promising responses to the world’s most pressing problems so that we can support, collaborate with, and shine a light on these ideas and models.

We are interested in bringing the tenants of solutions journalism across the scope of issue areas that matter to philanthropists, policymakers, and change agents. The Insights Lab focuses on pulling out key trends and patterns and presents them through new digital products and then deploys a strategic plan of engagement to reach specific audiences.

The partnership also connects SJN’s network of journalists to another organization’s key changemakers, and a knowledge exchange happens that will advance the mission of SJN and storytelling approach with a new network.

Our vision is to integrate a solutions framework in societal narratives, inspire the spread of innovative solutions in media coverage, and provide insights through researching first-hand interviews and applying them to action.

These elements include:

  • The Response: Focuses on a response to a social problem — and on how that response has worked, or why it hasn’t.
  • Insight: Shows what can be learned from a response and why it matters.
  • Evidence: Provides data or qualitative results that indicate effectiveness (or lack thereof).
  • Limitations: Places responses in context; doesn’t shy away from revealing shortcomings.

Skoll Foundation Partnership/Case Study

Recently, Solutions Insights Lab partnered with the Skoll Foundation to create a website of solutions stories and curated interviews. The result: a website where you can search across sectors, regions, and key topics to learn about efforts to solve social problems. The goal is to engage, inspire and empower people to better address social challenges.

This is not a work of journalism. The interviewing approach has been standardized and the individuals interviewed were specifically selected as part of a project supported by the Skoll Foundation to learn from its 20 years of work supporting practitioners of social change. SJN seeks to better understand how the solutions journalism approach can be deployed or adapted to support learning. The interviews included here do not represent any form of endorsement by SJN, which is an independent, non-partisan organization that does not advocate for any particular approach to social change.

What's Working: Solving the World's Most Pressing Problems is a collaboration between SJN's Solutions Insights Lab and the Skoll Foundation.