Human-Centric Approaches To Not-For-Profit Challenges

Edited by Charlotte Vangsgaard

Companies and organizations working on social change dive head-on into the complex and challenging problems that face the modern world. They task themselves with eradicating poverty, providing education, or mitigating the effects of climate change.

How they approach these issues is starting to evolve, but not in the ways one might think. In recent years, business concepts and frameworks have found their way into the nonprofit sector, quantitative market analytics have become more commonplace, and design-thinking approaches are growing in popularity.

For-profit companies, on the other hand, are placing ever-greater emphasis on building a deep understanding of people and are looking to the social sciences for insights to help solve their most complex problems. Nonprofits seem to be lagging behind.

We hope that the nonprofit sector will catch up and include a social-science approach to problem solving, building on their fundamental value of taking an empathetic approach in order to successfully battle the root causes of problems or to mitigate damage in the most constructive way.

In this conversation, we showcase what this approach looks like in radically different fields, enabling our not-for-profit and for-profit clients to create projects that match the needs of the people they’re trying to help. Whether it’s urging markets to see the business potential in catering to poor, unbanked customers or providing the foundation for conflict-prevention efforts in the Arab world.

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