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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

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Pramila Bisoyi's journey from protecting India's national bird to the corridors of power

Mongabay

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Pramila Bisoyi, a Member of Parliament hailing from the Indian state of Odisha, has shown the power of women in protecting the environment. She has created and led multiple Women Self Help Groups, who work together to protect forests, plant trees, and encourage native peacocks to come back to the...

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Sisters encourage Masai mothers to turn to medically assisted deliveries

Global Sisters Report

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To reduce maternal mortality in the Masai region of Tanzania, Catholic nuns with Sisters of Notre Dame are building hospitals and educating local women about the importance of giving birth in a medical setting. Although this goes against the community's use of a "traditional birth attendant," del...

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Important lessons for Philadelphia from Chicago's three-year decline in gun violence

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network)

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Since 2016, Chicago has seen a 37% decrease in homicides with a comprehensive, targeted approach toward violence. The city developed a multi-pronged approach, including a collaboration between foundations and funders, a partnership that analyzed police decision-making, resource allocation toward ...

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These two Bibb County schools have a solution to bad behavior: breathing and meditation

The Telegraph

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In Georgia’s Bibb county, students at two schools are learning deep breathing and mindfulness from the organization, On the Same Breath. The practice, introduced by the organization and then led by teachers, gives students the opportunity to complete this practice every day for 40 days in the hop...

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From surgery simulators to medical mishaps in space, video game tech is helping doctors at work

Washington Post

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An orthopedic surgeon, software developers, and medical experts have teamed up to create a virtual reality headset that helps eliminate unpredictability during surgical procedures. Although this is one of many technological advancements that's being used to bridge a gap in health care, both virtu...

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Minneapolis Activists Ask Local Leaders to Invest in Communities, Not Cops

Yes! Magazine

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In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a coalition of organizers and community members called Reclaim the Block advocates for divestment from the city's police force and into more community-based initiatives and services. Advocates for the group argue that rather than solving issues like homelessness, opioid...

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In Reversal, Counties and States Help Inmates Keep Medicaid

Stateline

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If incarcerated, low-income individuals that are reliant on Medicaid typically lose access to their benefits which accelerates the difficulty of reentry. To help close the gap, the National Association of Counties and the National Sheriffs’ Association have joined together to implement stopgap me...

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Reduce Health Costs By Nurturing The Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints

NPR

Radio / 3-5 Minutes

Researchers in New Jersey have been testing the idea that an increased specialized care model directed towards the sickest and most expensive patients would help reduce costs and improve health, but the trials have been less than promising. However, it was in the failures of the approach, that re...

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How Philadelphia Flipped: Second Chances for Youth

YR Media

Multi-Media / 800-1500 Words

Philadelphia has made a concerted effort toward reducing the number of youth being arrested in schools. Leadership, including the school police commissioner and district attorney, changed procedures so that youth, instead of getting arrested, are enrolled in diversion programs instead. While ther...

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The inside story of how scientists produced an Ebola vaccine

STAT

Text / Over 3000 Words

It was a "trial that almost hadn’t happened" that only happened due to collective action and a piloting effort, that lead to the creation of the world's first Ebola vaccine. Between community commitment and researcher's skills to react quickly, a clinical trial was successfully implemented in the...

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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