From safety nets to trampolines.
We want everyone to flourish. That means: using, enjoying, and developing our human capacities. Not just having a roof over our heads and food on the table. Our social welfare systems were set up to minimize bad stuff, not maximize good stuff.
Formal plus informal supports.
To flourish, each of us needs support. Networks of friends, neighbors, and families. Helpful professionals. Systems that enable, rather than get in the way.
From one solution to many interventions.
Deep change won't come from a single new program, service, or app. We think it comes from multiple interventions that activate natural networks, shape professional practices, and dismantle stuck systems.
Ends trump means.
We constantly ask: what’s a good outcome, for whom? We see good outcomes in better lives, not better institutions. It’s the difference between improving learning, and improving schools. Learning is the end point. Schools are merely one means.
From plans to prototypes.
Ideas are nice, but insufficient. We make early ideas real and then test, reject, and remake specific interactions to find out what works in messy, everyday contexts.
What works is what changes behaviors and improves lives. And not just for the top 1% or even the middle 50%. We’re about actively closing gaps and reducing inequalities.
Unusual suspects not just the usual stakeholders.
We always start with people. In homes and neighborhoods. With those who don’t normally engage. And with those doing surprisingly well. They’re the untapped resource.
A craft not a trend.
Our way of working is experience-led, not tool-led. We bring together different disciplines – from psychology, sociology, design, philosophy, politics, economics, history – to debate what makes people tick and what makes change stick.
No consultancy projects.
We initiate projects by bringing multiple partners – not clients – together. We don’t bill by the hour, or the day. Nor do we deliver recommendations for others to implement. We build local teams and seed longer-term movements, directing project monies to folks in the community rather than just to external experts.
Practice what we preach.
This is iteration #18.