The Art of Unexpected Outcomes

August 23, 2013

Unexpected Outcomes

APEP’s go-to art restoration expert, Cecilia Giménez, reminds us (yet again) that we simply can’t anticipate all outcomes of an event.  If you recall, our esteemed artist performed a restoration last year that the world found, how shall we say, lacking in technical expertise.  Everyone from Conan to regular folks on the interwebs got a really good laugh.  Now, we hear that Giménez’s work of art has already raised over $66,000 for a local charity in Borja, Spain from more than 40,000 visitors.  Unexpected, indeed.

Mobilizing for Immigration Reform

Two weeks ago, we wrote a brief blurb about advocacy groups ramping up their August activities to take advantage of the Congressional recess and lobby policymakers on a wide range of issues.  One of these issues happens to be immigration reform.  The month is almost over and The Atlantic has declared victory—for the reformers.  Many anti-immigrant rallies around the country have been cancelled for lack of interest or attendance.  Immigration reformers are winning the day, says The Atlantic, by mobilizing and engaging more people.  Translating this support into favorable votes in Congress?  Stay tuned.

News and Action

The Solutions Journalism Network brings together journalists who report on solutions to significant social problems but are careful not to advocate for one solution in particular.  This kind of journalism seeks to educate and engage the public about possible solutions—and in this way contribute to positive social outcomes.  Earlier this year, ProPublica wrote a white paper on assessing the impact of non-profit journalism, differentiating between advocacy and journalism.  And recently, the director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media, Ethan Zuckerman, wrote a blog about how journalists can link news with action and how the impact of this kind of journalism should be measured.  An evolving and fascinating conversation about hard-to-measure stuff with no easy answer.  Just how we like it.