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Overcoming the Big Challenges

Showing how to solve problems innovators face. Certain challenges—questions of scaling and impact, measurement and evaluation—are endemic to social entrepreneurship. These stories illustrate how changemakers are addressing those challenges, and whether they’re finding success.

Overcoming the big challenges

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Stories

RECENT STORIES

Do We Need Police To Curb LA's Traffic Violence? Some Cities Are Saving Lives Without Them

LAist

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Five years after Los Angeles launched its Vision Zero program to reduce traffic fatalities, the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed on city streets have soared. By relying too heavily on the racially fraught and often ineffective practice of police stops of vehicles, and by not spending en...

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The Sudbury model: How one of the world's major polluters went green

Christian Science Monitor

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After being known as a polluted mining town, politicians, scientists, industry officials, and residents of Sudbury, Ontario, were able to come together to restore its land. After 40 years and $33.5 million, they are about halfway through recovering about 200,000 acres of land. So far, they’ve bee...

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The daring plan to save the Arctic ice with glass

BBC

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The nonprofit Arctic Ice Project is testing an unusual approach to combat climate change: by scattering a thin layer of reflective glass powder over parts of the Arctic. By putting this material on top of the ice, they’re studying if the powder can protect the ice during the summer months and reb...

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How Did These Students Get The City To Change The Name Of Douglass Park? They Built Collective Power And Didn't Back Down

Block Club Chicago

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Chicago students organized and, for the first time, convinced the city to rename a park in honor of Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass. The former Douglas Park was named after a Civil War era Illinois senator who advocated to expand slavery, and whose wife owned slaves. Not daunted by the city’s ...

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This Philly charter school is trying to grow the ranks of Black male teachers

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network)

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Data shows that nationally only 2% of public-school teachers are Black men. To fill that gap, Boys’ Latin, a charter school in Philadelphia, launched a program that creates teaching positions for Black men who want to teach. Research shows that having Black teachers in the classroom decreases ...

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The Rise of Dual Credit - Education Next

Education Next

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Dual credit classes were a response to the increasing costs of attending college and university and to make postsecondary education more accessible to low-income students. Although, low-income and minority students are still having trouble accessing dual credit courses, research shows they have...

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Scientists work in Arizona to reshape desert food production

Arizona Daily Star

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In an experimental garden in Arizona, scientists are seeing how to produce sustainable and local food in a desert environment. They’re growing plants under a photovoltaic “canopy” of solar panels that provide necessary shade for the crops and, at the same time, generate cheap, renewable energy fo...

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Mental Health And Police Violence: How Crisis Intervention Teams Are Failing

NPR

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More than 2,700 police departments in the U.S. have crisis intervention teams aimed at responding to mental health crises with fewer arrests and less violence, but the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester police custody offers clear lessons in the shortcomings and misuse of the CIT model. A lack of...

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Police have shot people experiencing a mental health crisis. Who should you call instead?

USA Today

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Daniel Prude's death in police custody illustrates a common flaw in how police respond to mental health crises, but reform advocates disagree on whether to improve police training or bypass police almost entirely. Mental health crises make up a large share of police calls, jailings, and fatal pol...

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California May Need More Fire to Fix its Wildfire Problem

Stateline

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Prescribed burns are considered the best way to contain catastrophic wildfires, and fires sparked by lightning or by Native Americans once burned more land in California than has burned in 2020's record-setting fires. But burning its way out of danger is hardly a simple matter for California now....

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Our issue area taxonomy was adapted from the PCS Taxonomy with definitions by the Foundation Center, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License.

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

Photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers:

Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

Photos are licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication Creative Commons license / Desaturated from original, and are credited to the following photographers:

Burak Kebapci and SCY.

Photos are licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) and are credited to the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Conference attendee listening to speaker, Jenifer Daniels / Colorstock getcolorstock.com.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Sonia Narang