What Works? aims to showcase new and untapped ways to make meaningful social change. Follow our global search, learn how people are finding new ways to unleash capacity and creativity, and share your own stories and experiences of making social change happen.

Communities around the world are facing deep challenges. The problems facing us today are more complex, inter-dependent and accelerating faster than can be solved through traditional approaches. There is a growing global community of social sector leaders and practitioners who recognise that a reliance on old ways of working is part of the problem: not only do we have to change ‘what’ we do in response to these challenges but, even more importantly, we must change ‘how’ we facilitate meaningful development and social change.

To address this, the Young Foundation, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, is working to identify new and untapped approaches that people and organisations around the globe are using to unleash their capacity and creativity, and develop new approaches that help them to respond better to complex social challenges and needs.

To help us with our search, we’re connecting with a wide range of people spanning disciplines and sectors, addressing a wide range of social challenges, and working in all parts of the world. We’re doing deeper regional studies to identify untapped approaches that are being developed and applied in Southern and East Africa, and East and South East Asia.

Our goal is to identify innovation methods and processes with the highest potential, and spread these throughout the social sector, working in collaboration with partners in the different regions, and drawing on a variety of creative approaches to collect, shape and share findings.

The Young Foundation 

The Young Foundation brings together insight, innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs. We have a 55 year track record of success with ventures such as the Open University, Which?, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Healthline (the precursor of NHS Direct).

We work across the UK and internationally – carrying out research, influencing policy, creating new organisations and supporting others to do the same, often with imaginative uses of new technology. We now have over 60 staff, working on over 40 ventures at any one time, with staff in New York and Paris as well as London and Birmingham in the UK.


The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913.  Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization.  Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered.  To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work.  First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses.  Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives.

In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact.  These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urbanization, and social and economic security.


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