Debunking stereotypes about mobile homes could make them a new face of affordable housing
People see manufactured housing parks as problems. We recognize them as part of the solution to housing crises.
inclusive economy
How to build an inclusive economy
Our economy was designed to exclude and exploit people of color. These entrepreneurs are working to level the scales.
black owned businesses
Could Gen Z close the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship?
This American city was ranked one of the worst for the success of black-owned businesses. Can these young entrepreneurs change that?
Tiny home village offers services for homeless people
Albuquerque, New Mexico opened a tiny home village to give homeless people shelter and a chance to get back on their fee
What if your ideas about strangers are all wrong?
The surprising benefits of talking to strangers.
Series | Hard Reset
The underdog challenging McDonald’s and Wall Street
Everytable is scaling access to wealth through a healthy fast food revolution.
Remote Work Is Reversing the Brain Drain
Rural economies can now lure top talent away from big cities and affluent countries — could this be the reverse of the brain drain?
city grids
Are ancient city grids still the best way to build?
Although their roots date back thousands of years, city grids are starting to inspire modern urban planners. Is the grid still the best way to build?
tactical urbanism
Reclaiming city spaces with “tactical urbanism”
From guerilla gardening to pop-up parks, tactical urbanism is catching the world by storm.
Community Fridges
“Community fridges” are helping fight food insecurity
Community fridges stocked with donated food that’s free for the taking are helping neighborhoods across the U.S. overcome food insecurity.
3d printed homes for the homeless
Series | Catalysts
3D printed homes for the homeless
This 51-acre neighborhood for the homeless will be the first of its kind in the U.S. to have 3D printed homes.
urban farming
Series | Catalysts
How urban farming saved a Dallas community
In the impoverished community of Bonton, it takes a three-hour bus ride just to reach the nearest grocery store. But the neighborhood is now home to one of the largest urban farms in the US - offering jobs, nutrition programs, and more.
internship for high school students
Series | Catalysts
Turning a construction site into a classroom
unCommon Construction offers a unique alternative to your typical internship for high school students. Their program turns build sites into real-world classrooms where interns learn the soft skills they’ll need to succeed in the workforce.
addiction recovery
Series | Catalysts
Rethinking addiction recovery with fitness
As drug overdose deaths climb higher, this gym is challenging the thinking behind traditional models for addiction recovery services with free memberships open to anyone sober for at least 48 hours.
Conversations with refugees
Aline Sara is changing the conversation around what it means to be a refugee by talking — literally. Through her...
Rock climbers help refugees in America learn skills for the challenges of their new lives
Rock climbers help refugees in america
This nonprofit is teaching refugees in America how to rock climb - helping displaced children better face new challenges and transition to life in the U.S.
Shedding the stigma of substance use
By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.
Advice from a death doula: unlocking life before death
Talking about death can actually make it a much less frightening topic. Here’s how working with a death doula or attending a local death cafe can help.
diversity in the outdoors
Diversity in the outdoors: bridging the adventure gap
This DC nonprofit is defying statistics by promoting diversity in the outdoors and connecting people from all walks of life with the wonders of nature.
UTEC an organization that is helping young people overcome poverty
Can friendship keep at-risk youth off the streets?
Carlos felt addicted to the thrill of crime at a young age. Today, he yields a different, positive influence on the streets with UTEC.
How Old Skool Café helped this teenager overcome adversity after trauma
After suffering a violent gang beating, Desiree Maldonado experienced major medical and emotional issues. She turned from a shy and nerdy 14-year-old kid to a hard and angry rebel. This is how one restaurant job changed her trajectory.
Old Skool Café provides an alternative to gangs and violence
As a former prison guard, Teresa Goines watched kids drift in and out of the justice system. Now she runs a jazz-themed eatery that hires at-risk youth and gives them a place to learn and grow.
mental health for chicago youth
Series | Catalysts
The mental health movement for Chicago’s inner city youth
A remarkable transformation is taking place in several inner-city Chicago schools, and it's resulting in fewer gangs, drugs, and homicides. Could this new model of group therapy be the cause, and is it scalable?
Wilderness experience helps army vet adjust to life after war
Meet Thomas Weinheimer, an army veteran whose 53-day wilderness experience on a North Carolina trail helped ease his transition back to civilian life.
Wilderness therapy: A path to healing for Veterans
These long-distance treks use the power of nature over three to six months of exploration to help heal the invisible wounds of war, and the results are incredible.
This artist heals wounds of violence with tattoos
Brian Finn tattoos over scars from self-harm, violence, or human trafficking for free or at a discounted rate in order to help people heal.
Series | Catalysts
Women supporting women to overcome the trauma of abuse
When domestic violence survivors share their stories, they feel empowered and find their voice. At Leap to Success, women have the opportunity to do both, forming a clear path to healing from the trauma of abuse.
This nonprofit gives bikes and people new life
Working Bikes has spent nearly two decades rescuing bicycles from the waste cycle to give people purpose, access to jobs, and independence.
Series | Catalysts
Investing in families to escape poverty
The greatest investment of all may be in people’s strengths and initiative. This nonprofit is doing just that, and it’s working.
Transitional employment
This social enterprise is cleaning up Chicago one street at a time
This nonprofit is not only polishing the streets of Chicago, but providing a "clean slate" for its interns. Those with a criminal background, dealing with addiction recovery, or domestic violence, are welcome to take part in job training and counseling.
Series | Catalysts
Can former Bloods and Crips unite to break the cycle of violence?
For the children of Dallas, these ex gang leaders may be their only chance.
The Crib: A place to call home
For young LGBTQ adults, this is the shelter that accepts many people that are too often turned away.
Series | Catalysts
A school made for homeless children
When a child faces chaos at home, it's impossible to learn. This school is doing whatever it takes to help homeless students and their families create better lives.
Organized Crime & Street Gangs in South America
Should we legalize gangs?
Gangs are a major cause of violence and organized crime. Here’s why countries should think twice before trying to...
Series | Catalysts
Racing out of homelessness
This running club that meets at 5:45am is helping the homeless transform their lives.
This Chicago urban farm grows opportunity, jobs
Growing Home’s organic urban farms use agriculture as a vehicle for providing job training for people with...
A community at the frontlines of the war on wildfire
When facing literal hellfire, this community effort may be the only way to protect homes and lives from devastating wildfires.
Series | Catalysts
Stopping gang violence with love
This nonprofit is doing the impossible - finding the 10% of gang members responsible for 90% of the crime, and leading them to successful, positive lives.
Hip Hop and Food
Hip-hop fans are getting creative in the kitchen thanks to this rap inspired food competition
“T-bone steak, cheese eggs, and Welch’s grape.” Yo Stay Hungry competitions are simple: teams of contestants...
Series | Catalysts
A home helping teen moms break the cycle of generational poverty
Hope House in Denver is changing lives for generations to come.
Hope after prison
This former inmate is cleaning up his city and helping other ex-cons turn their lives around.
How this non-profit weaves a family of support for struggling teens in Baltimore
“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them...
Sometimes it really does take a village
Building a new, community-based foster care system
Series | Catalysts
Could this be the future of foster care?
Take a look inside a town built for foster families
Veterans to the rescue
On the worst day of their lives, these veterans came to help.
A day in the life of a 'violence interruptor'
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in...
civilian oversight
Civilian oversight is a solution to police misconduct. But is it effective?
Creating a civilian review board to oversee police conduct seems like a straightforward solution to disciplinary...
Why the 6th most dangerous city is turning to community policing
Police departments around the country are increasingly looking at community policing programs as a tool to help reestablish trust in the communities they serve.
Community policing is back in vogue. But does it work?
As police departments look for ways to rebuild trust with their communities, an increasing number are turning to...
Freethink's 2019 Criminal Justice Week
Join us as we go inside the criminal justice reform movement for an up close look at the people trying to fix our broken system.
How San Francisco residents saved local businesses
An indie book store went from struggling to thriving with a new business model. Is it the future of retail?
Series | Catalysts
A game-changer for chronic homelessness
He turned a food truck for the homeless into a thriving 51-acre community.
This fearless principal used UFC & skateboards to save a failing school
How one relentless, unconventional principal rallied an underdog school.
The "search angel" volunteers reunite birth families
For some, not knowing their biological family can feel like a part of them is missing. The Search Squad is helping them for free.
How redesigning labs can demystify genetic science
"Scientists work in high-security buildings that are banned to the public and then wonder why they are misunderstood."
Grandkids on demand
A new service provides “grandkids on demand.”
Helping kids through rowing
Inside the surprising program helping disadvantaged kids in New York thrive.
The shipping containers used for conversations
Would you talk to a stranger on the other side of the world?
Make America Dinner Again
Making America dinner again
What happens when you put people of all political persuasions together over dinner?
The barber building trust between cops and his community
A local barber teams up with an officer to ease tensions in their community.
Maybe we can all get along: 5 reasons to be hopeful
While the press tends to emphasize bad news, there are less covered stories of people from different backgrounds...
LGBT rights: The power of a single conversation
Why a gay rights activist started a movement to talk to thousands who voted against gay marriage.
Where Muslims and Jews worship together
When a Jewish community lost its place of worship, help came from an unexpected place.
Americans are divided. These people are doing something about it.
Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are...
Crossing the Divide trailer
77% of people think the country is more divided than it’s ever been. We set out to meet the people trying to change that.
How skate punks are ushering in a new era of freedom in myanmar
For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by a repressive military junta. Then, in 2011, things began to...
Skatepunks of Myanmar
Is the booming skating scene in Myanmar a sign of a more hopeful future for the once isolated country?
The untold story of Rio’s largest favela
Meet the proud, hopeful, ambitious people determined to build the life they’ve dreamed of.
The hidden side of "slum" life
Life in favelas, or slum cities in Brazil, are often portrayed as some of the bleakest in the world. Faced with...
Teaser of 'The hidden side of slum life'
One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold.
This week in ideas: Good things that happened in 2016
Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some...
How a sci-fi enthusiast decided to memorialize his best friend
The story of how one man gave his space-loving best friend a final resting place in the final frontier.