News and Insights

As part of our mission to help changemakers work more strategically to solve large-scale social problems, the Foundation for Inclusion (FFI) is dedicated to showing how new developments in the issues we work on are connected to big-picture trends: What does today's news imply for whether we can collectively achieve our ultimate goal? What does new research add to what we already know about how these problems get solved?

Here we offer news about the Foundation for Inclusion as well as these big-picture insights. Come back here weekly or subscribe to our newsletter to get updates sent to your inbox.

On White Supremacy, Solidarity & Systemic Equity

By Arpitha Peteru, President & Co-Founder | June 8, 2020

“Race is not a risk factor. Racism is. LGBTQ identity is not a risk factor. Homophobia and transphobia are.”Yeshimabeit Milner, Data for Black Lives  Three days ago, Breonna Taylor would have turned 27 years old. It’s been a painful and necessary reminder of the fact that there have been no arrests or any kind of…

[Cases] Climate Action Model: Agricultural Pilot

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | March 12, 2019

THE NEED. The ministry of agriculture of a large democratic country wanted to incentivize farmers to adopt sustainable practices—but couldn’t figure out why prior efforts had failed or backfired. OUR APPROACH. The minister’s consultant hired us to make sense of the problem’s complexity. We incorporated the perspectives of policy makers, industry executives, activists, and scientists…

[Cases] Climate Action Model: Proof of Concept

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | March 11, 2019

THE NEED. The climate debate is highly polarized. The more advocates inform, the more opponents deny. The more some push for action, the more others oppose action. Current approaches are not always effective—and sometimes backfire. OUR APPROACH. We brought together cross-disciplinary experts in the tools of science, story, simulation, and strategy. We facilitated experiments in…

[Cases] Catalyzing Collective Insight: Advocacy Coalition

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 31, 2019

THE NEED. A certain industry’s practices were putting communities at physical risk, and a global coalition of advocacy groups devoted to solving the problem had not found a way to mobilize change. The movement was fragmented, demoralized, and directionless. OUR APPROACH. We held semi-structured conversations with core leaders and observers to gather individual stories and…

[Cases] Getting Stakeholder Buy-In: Economic Opportunity

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 31, 2019

THE NEED. Top leaders in a post-industrial city were willing to invest resources into economic development—but had competing visions and plans. The barriers to progress were complex, and collective progress was slow. OUR APPROACH. We engaged well-positioned corporate, foundation, and nonprofit CEOs in interactive and tactile exercises to demystify the complexity and unify their goals.…

[Training] No Data, No Problem: Extracting Insights from
 Data-Poor Environments

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 10, 2019

It’s an article of faith among social impact leaders that you need good data if you want to build models or design programs that solve hard problems. For many of the most challenging problems, however, there simply is no data available, or at least not enough of the kind of data needed to plan or…

[Training] Systems Change for Social Impact: Sustainable Results and the Social Action Life Cycle

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 10, 2019

Large-scale social change is so hard that few people working for social good can focus on more than a small part of the bigger problem. The result: year after year, the problem persists, root causes are never fully addressed, and people working to solve it resign themselves to short-term fixes and partial solutions. In this…

[Training] Getting Over Ourselves: How Our Own Systems for Aid and Impact Hold Back Success

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 10, 2019

The world’s greatest challenges—climate change, social conflict, species extinction, human trafficking, homelessness—are caused by what scientists call complex systems, where a large number of interacting components (social groups, emotions, technologies, beliefs, money, natural resources, etc.) make it very difficult to find lasting solutions. But even when people take that complexity seriously enough to identify promising…

[Training] Zoned Out: Hidden Risks for Communities and 
 Investors in Opportunity Zones

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | January 10, 2019

Opportunity Zones, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, are touted as a win-win: in return for generous tax breaks, investors finance community-development projects in neighborhoods facing economic challenges. There is already some concern, however, that wealthy investors will end up with convenient tax havens without actually improving the lives of lower- and middle- income…

We Built Momentum in 2018

By Bob Lamb, CEO & Co-Founder | December 31, 2018

Happy new year, everyone! This past year has seen us build momentum on a number of fronts: We’re very excited that Arpitha Peteru became the Foundation for Inclusion’s President and cofounder, bringing with her years of experience in consulting, coalition building, and philanthropy focused on social justice, hate speech, and violence prevention, among other talents. We…