Our in-depth primary research, both journalistic and ethnographic, gathers insights from innovators in a system to map the current evolution of the collective response to a complex problem. Our Discovery Maps yield insights about where the aggregate energy in a system goes, and which aspects of a problem remain unaddressed. The analysis is a qualitative snapshot that yields both opportunities to drive change and opportunities for new markets. Our team brings more than 20 years of experience in applying this approach to complex problems ranging from human trafficking to overfishing to literacy. 


The wisdom for finding the solution is embedded in the system—we’re releasing it, not inventing it.


Discovery Product offerings include:


  • Discovery briefing in slide deck format with one Discovery Map. 
  • Written report of the analysis. 
  • Research = ~25 interviews

Deep Dive

Depending on the needs of the funder, the Discovery can be adapted to address multiple levels of system inquiry and typically ranges from 4-6 months in duration.

Contains some combination of the following: 

  • Discovery Map(s);
  • Portfolio analysis; 
  • Policy analysis; 
  • Cultural trends; 
  • Analogous industry research; 
  • Full report format with data illustration
  • Research = ~75-100 interviews

Past Discovery clients include: David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Commune LP., a private investment firm.