WHAT WE DO
Our clients, whether investors or philanthropists, are looking to ignite change in complex systems. To meet these goals, we provide a diverse suite of products within our three flagship service areas:
These services can work independently or in concert to help clients map a space, surface opportunities, and develop investable business ecosystems that work together to change a system. Ours is an alternative approach to the futile pursuit of the single best “silver bullet” idea, program, or enterprise to develop or finance, and offers a far more powerful and investable way to create change. All of our work can be tailored to fit specific needs and various budget sizes.
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 briefing in slide deck format with one Discovery Map.
- Written report of the analysis.
- Research = ~25 interviews
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
The Co-Design process begins with the opportunities generated by Discovery or a specific challenge identified by the funder. In both cases, we recruit select stakeholders to co-design potential solutions. The workshops blend expertise with fresh perspective to offer a new approach to systems change: the development of an “ecosystem” of related, strategic solutions. Rather than trying to identify the single best idea, program, or enterprise to develop or finance, foundations, companies, and investors engage the Co-Design process to surface a group of independent but related opportunities that, if engaged, would work in concert to move the needle on real change. Depending on the specific type of Co-Design product, these refined ideas may then move into our Pod process for further development.
Our past co-design efforts have explored how to use business models to support the restoration of wild oyster reefs, how to amplify the work of nonprofits who help restaurants make better seafood sourcing choices, and how to grow the entrepreneurial “gift economy” of Jamaica.
We prevent people from solving problems the way they are used to solving them, which leads to new possibilities.
Systems change is bigger than any one entrepreneur or business. We recruit entrepreneurs into disruptive business ecosystems, called Pods. These Pods provide paths to success, support, scale, and community. By supporting a Pod, foundations have the opportunity to develop a strategic, integrated, multi-prong approach to shifting a system. Investor sponsors get a portfolio of viable opportunities for both investment and systems change. Taken together, the initiatives and joint ventures each Pod creates become engines of change that produce business wins and impact.
To date, we’ve supported Pods in the following areas: Breakthrough Aquaculture, Traceability in the Seafood Supply Chain, Oyster Restoration, and “Storied Fish.”