Growing Social Impact: Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Headed in 2023
December 20, 2022
2022 was a big year at Purpose…
filled with impact, innovation, and art. We engaged and activated audiences on a wide range of issues, from promoting sustainable cities and combating hate speech, to improving online child safety and exploring the future of work. As always, our work took us from strategic partnerships and vast coalitions, to innovative experiments in digital campaigning, to creative storytelling to capture complex issues, to strategies intended to spark long-term systemic change.
Here’s a glimpse at some of our recent work, tackling a range of critical issues across the globe:
Looking to 2023, it’s going to take more intentional cooperation and activation to realize positive change. We’re ready to use learnings from our past year of projects to grow impact with our partners. From our past year of work (see A Year in Social Change, below, for more), we’ve also identified some top priorities for achieving our mission.
Here’s where we’ll be working in the new year (and where we invite partners who are interested in leading the same work to reach out to collaborate, below):
1. Fighting false, harmful, and extremist messages with tactics that promote healthy media ecosystems around the world
In today’s climate, it can be hard to envision or remember what a truly healthy media ecosystem looks and feels like. Reliably accurate news. Communications that offer clarity, not confusion. Diverse perspectives bringing dimension, not polarization, to complex conversations. In the absence of this perfect state, trust has declined in media institutions globally — in a time when we’ve never been more dependent on effective flows of information to connect us across timezones, languages, opportunities, and crises.
Purpose has dug deep into specific facets of this widespread, intricate challenge, like:
- Election integrity, advising on the trends and movement of hostile, bigoted conspiracy theories during key political moments, and how to campaign against them
- Climate disinformation, analyzing how specific false climate narratives and fossil fuel ‘astroturfing’ tactics undermine efforts and demand to protect the planet
- Disinformation as a hate tactic, examining how biased narratives falsely scapegoating marginalized communities for social problems divides society and incites violence
Working with other committed partners in these spaces, we’re continuing to discover new ways to combine our experience in narrative change, evidence-based campaigning, and equitable systems thinking for fighting false, harmful, and extremist messaging with tactics that promote healthy media ecosystems around the world. With still more ground to cover, we remain committed to the cause, and hope to see even more join us.
2. Activating new audiences for climate solutions with innovative and targeted public mobilization tactics
Purpose identifies new and politically relevant audiences, and the messages that activate them toward prompt political action on behalf of climate, while strengthening the climate movement with voices from marginalized communities. Purpose’s climate portfolio explores the frontiers of what’s possible with climate change mobilization globally. To read more about our climate work, take a look here.
Would you be interested in exploring these priorities with us, or have another project in mind? We want to meet and help you bring change to life:
2022: A Year in Social Change
In 2022, our work with partners made great strides on critical issues – here are some examples:
We collaborated with partners to fortify their impact purpose and develop insight-driven strategies to help achieve it.
Natura | Activism Guide
As Brazil’s largest bath and body brand, Natura is committed to creating wider impact for the conservation and regeneration of the Amazon rainforest. To support this mission, Purpose Brazil developed an activism guide with engagement and mobilization strategies to help Natura mobilize the public and reinforce their commitments to sustainability.
Center for Healing and Justice through Sport | Messaging Strategy
The Center for Healing and Justice through Sport’s mission is to make sport a healing experience for all youth, everywhere. To engage new audiences in the capacity of sport to heal personal trauma and build community empowerment, the Racial Equity Impact Practice at Purpose developed an intersectional messaging strategy with nuanced audience profiles, target messaging frameworks, and social media assets.
City of Sydney | CitySwitch
The City of Sydney’s CitySwitch initiative is Australia’s flagship sustainability program to help businesses reduce their emissions. In order to scale the model while continuing to support businesses wherever they are in the sustainability journey, Purpose developed a program structure to help office-based businesses map the pathway to net zero and connect them with others on the journey, along with a measurement and evaluation framework to demonstrate the impact of CitySwitch on reducing business emissions. Learn more about this work in our case study.
Luminate | Messaging Strategy
Luminate and Purpose partnered to develop a new messaging strategy to build the movement for technology regulation in Europe. The strategy seeks to build solidarity among marginalized communities impacted by the harms of Big Tech, educate the public about these harms, and mobilize new supporters to the cause to break down Big Tech’s social license once and for all.
Unfinished | Project Liberty Declaration
Unfinished exists to challenge the tech sector to radically reimagine the web as a more equitable space, with Project Liberty being the first innovation from this emerging organization in the equitable technology ecosystem. In collaboration with Unfinished, the Racial Equity Impact Practice at Purpose convened voices across the Unfinished Network to unpack the vision of equity on the Internet, and developed a just digital future declaration to serve as the north star to guide this growing movement.
We developed brands and creative content to galvanize audiences into action.
5Rights Foundation | Online Child Safety Toolkit
The 5Rights Foundation works to ensure that young people have the same freedoms, protections and privileges online, as they do offline. To provide global policymakers with the necessary context, language, and steps to draft policies for creating a safe online world for children, Purpose developed the Online Child Safety Toolkit, designed to turn drafting tech regulation policy into something engaging, iterative, and easily implemented. Learn more about the toolkit here.
Re-Alliance | Brand Refresh
The Australian Wind Alliance, a key player in the uptake of wind energy in the country, needed to refresh its brand as it moved into the wider renewables sector. Purpose refreshed its name, tagline, and visual identity to Re-Alliance, alluding to REnewables, REgional and REnewal.
Jobs for the Future | Brand Refresh
Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit focused on achieving economic advancement for workers in the US, needed a refreshed brand for the Impact Employer initiative that could lead businesses into the future of work. Purpose is working with JFF to refresh their brand story to reflect the dawning of a new age of work.
We harnessed the power of people to mobilize and influence through targeted activations.
Impact for Urban Health | Live & Breathe Campaign
The Live + Breathe campaign speaks to pride and ownership in the melting pot that is Lambeth and Southwark in London, to empower underrepresented members of the local community to take up the issue of air pollution and hold local councils accountable to their promises on air quality. The campaign is a continuation of the Purpose Climate Lab’s work to bring unrepresented voices to the air pollution conversation in the UK. Learn more about Live + Breathe here.
Project Liberty | Unfinished Live
Unfinished Live is an annual event held in NY where leading experts and engaged citizens from around the world get together to help shape our digital future and to create a more just and democratic Web 3.0. Purpose partnered with Project Liberty, Nightlight Labs, and the disruptive AI artist Refik Anadol to create the Liberty Zone. This immersive and tactile installation allowed the public to explore the possibilities of a better digital future and share their vision of what they’d like to see that future encapsulate – providing real-time insights to inform Project Liberty’s future strategies. In the lead-up to the event, we partnered with local influencers and Time Out to promote the experience and this critical cause.
EVmyDelivery is a multi-city consumer awareness campaign to accelerate the transition of e-commerce delivery fleets to electric. The objective was to engage young millennial consumers in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru who are adopters of e-commerce convenience by sharing information around tailpipe emissions in innovative ways. Since consumer attitudes play a critical role in shaping company actions, the initiative engaged them through interactive installations, working with content creators to ask their favorite brands to electrify their fleets. The campaign has resulted in 4 delivery fleet companies committing to electrification. Learn more about our Purpose climate work here.
Gamer Impact Lab
The Gamer Impact Lab was launched to mobilize gaming communities in Brazil to stand against extremism and hate speech, helping to create a safer and more democratic online environment for the youth. We launched #FlopSeptember7th to mobilize gamers to livestream during anti-Democratic protests and influence conservative youth away from such movements, and Shadows of Fear, one of the first streaming RPG sessions ever that was composed of all women, to talk about participation, voting and the importance of taking action. Learn more about our Gamer Impact Lab here.
We accelerated impact through full-service, multi-year campaign programs.
United Nations | Verified
Initially developed to respond to COVID-19, Verified is a new model for communicating and responding effectively to emerging global challenges. In 2022, Verified has delivered 35 campaigns in 40 languages across 17 countries around topics like routine immunization, mental health, gender equity, digital literacy, and hate speech. Since its inception, Verified has reached over a billion people worldwide.
Reset Australia | Digital Democracy Lab
Reset Australia is an independent policy think tank and research organization, incubated by Purpose in order to drive action on addressing the social harms caused by Big Tech. Reset Australia has become one of the leading policy organizations in Australia on issues relating to social media and democracy.
Packard Foundation | Care with Dignity Campaign
Care with Dignity or Khud Se Pooche (Ask Yourself) is a multi-year campaign to mainstream the conversation around dignified healthcare for women in the Indian state of Bihar. The ongoing campaign has created a community of online and offline women leaders and ambassadors that advocate for reproductive healthcare as a basic right and are shifting the narratives around the need for dignity in care. The campaign recently culminated in a permanent installation of the Khud Se Pooche symbol – a safety pin that pins together dignity and respect to healthcare – at a central place in Patna, Bihar serving as a permanent reminder of the importance of dignity in women’s health. Learn more about Khud Se Pooche here.
LEGO Foundation | Together for Play
Together for Play is a multi-year program that deploys interventions across Brazil, Colombia, Rwanda, and South Africa to mobilize parents and caregivers to value play as a key element of learning. Through 21 interventions in 4 countries, we’ve reached more than 77m parents and caregivers, and built a coalition of local political champions and partners to create systemic changes that make play a cornerstone of children’s learning and development.
We’re proud to share that our work continues to be recognized by esteemed award institutions for excellence. In 2022, Purpose won a total of 15 awards in recognition of the high-quality projects we have delivered in the field of social impact. These awards highlight the impact that Purpose made in the world in 2022 to create social change.
- The Inaugural Anthem Awards: We won 8 awards in the Webby Awards’ newest initiative, which focuses on impactful work
- The Indigo Awards: 6 award wins in the Design for Social Change category
- The Lovie Awards: Purpose won in the ‘Websites in Charitable Organizations & Non-Profit category’ for 5Rights Making Child Online Safety a Reality
As we look ahead to 2023, we are excited about the possibilities for creating impact together. We believe that by harnessing the power of purpose, participation, and collaboration, we can move closer towards an open, just and habitable world.
We are eager to continue partnering with organizations that share our passion for creating equitable social change, and we are committed to using our expertise and knowledge to help our partners achieve their goals. Whether it’s tackling the spread of disinformation, developing purpose-led brands, promoting sustainability, or supporting our partners in actioning their equity commitments, we are ready to work together to create a better future for everyone. Let’s make 2023 a year to remember.
for Equity & Evidence