Our Work

What Works Media Project

Using the Power of Storytelling and Data-Driven Solutions to Impact Policy

The What Works Media Project will harness the power of non-fiction filmmaking to highlight "what works" to advance social mobility and the courageous leaders in government who are driving this change.

101316-wwmedia-logoResults for America and The Sorenson Impact Center have partnered with Soledad O’Brien and Starfish Media Group, Mikaela Beardsley and Solutions Media, and Impact Partners to produce The What Works Media Project, first announced at a panel at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

The authentic, character-driven documentary shorts that will be produced through this project will profile results-driven programs that are improving lives; highlight people throughout the public sector who are driving positive social change; and demystify the use of data and evidence in programmatic development, policy making and governing.

With award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien as Executive Producer, alongside award-winning documentary producer Mikaela Beardsley, the What Works Media Project will commission a diverse team of first-class filmmakers with deep experience creating stories that translate difficult subjects and motivate action.

The project’s Advisory Board includes Diana Barrett, President of The Fledgling Fund; Bonnie Benjamin Phariss, Media, Strategy and Social Impact Consultant; David Bornstein, New York Times Columnist and Co-Founder of Solutions Journalism Network; Ann Derry, founder, New York Times video; Michael Gerson, The Washington Post Op-Ed Columnist and former senior policy advisor to the George W. Bush administration; Kevin Madden, political commentator and former Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney; Susan Margolin, Co-Founder of New Video Group; Katherina Rosqueta, Executive Director of The Center for High Impact Philanthropy; and Cary Woods, film producer.

The project will have wide-ranging impact through community events, high-profile screenings, professional gatherings, educational distribution, and digital placement across a broad array of platforms, The What Works Media Project will help spread powerful ideas with the potential to fulfill America’s promise — that every citizen has an equal opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

The What Works Media Project films will go into production in winter 2017.

You can download the shareable WWMP 2-pager here.

On Tuesday, March 28, we celebrated the worldwide premiere of our first What Works Media Project film at Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities Summit in New York City. More than 350 mayors and local leaders saw the incredible story of how Mayor Ed Murray and the City of Seattle used data and evidence to fight homelessness and help more families access permanent housing.

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