Giving Compass' Take:

Co-director of NEST 360° shares her thoughts on how the organization changed after competing in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition.

How can other organizations be inspired to think of large-scale visions that are achievable over time rather than short-term goals?

Read more about how big bets can help advance philanthropic visions.

In 2017, my colleagues and I at NEST 360°, the initiative of the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health to develop solutions for preventing newborn mortality, had the opportunity to vie for a truly big bet through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. This inspired us to step back and think about what it would take to make substantial progress to end preventable newborn mortality in sub-Saharan Africa in a way that could be sustained.

Prior to 100&Change, our team members were working to address components of newborn mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. We were each approaching the issue from the perspective of our own discipline at a smaller scale, and we were making progress.

The opportunity for a much higher level of funding through 100&Change helped inspire our goal to scale across the continent in 12 years. Our team’s new vision is an integrated package of lifesaving neonatal technologies that work in low-resource settings. We plan to build the evidence base to generate demand for new technologies, develop distribution channels to deliver these technologies, and educate a pipeline of clinicians and innovators to use these technologies and develop even better tools. We have made substantial progress towards raising the funds to implement this vision.

The 100&Change experience taught us about clearly articulating our vision and building a plan to implement a sustainable solution at scale.

Read the full article about learning from 100&change by Rebecca Richards-Kortum at Stanford Social Innovation Review