How an action tank can catalyze issues and change the world

This blog post was written by Gabrielle Fitzgerald, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Panorama. Panorama’s mission is working to solve global problems through audacious thinking and bold action. They are a 2018 Global Health Council Member.

I launched Panorama in early 2017 with a new vision for how to solve complicated problems. We call ourselves an action tank because we engage deeply with our partners to develop and execute solutions together. This is a unique, entrepreneurial model that drives action on local and global social issues by influencing people and policy. We are now a team of more than 20 strategists, advocates, analysts, and storytellers, all with a passion for changing the world.

An action tank aligns the critical components we know are needed to make progress on any issue, whether it’s malaria or neglected tropical diseases or violence against children. These components include:

  • Insight that comes from systems thinking and analysis of an issue, leadership, or organization.
  • Influence enabled by the right combination of advocacy, stakeholder engagement, communications, and resource mobilization.
  • Incubation & Infrastructure through such services as fiscal sponsorship, grant making and management, organizational design, and fund management and administration.

Our fiscal sponsorship program, for example, is a way for Panorama to support other organizations pursuing charitable activities that are aligned with our mission. Current projects include TogetHER, a group fighting to end cervical cancer in developing countries.

One of the most exciting elements of an action tank is that we initiate projects when we see gaps that need filling, such as our menstrual health work to fight the stigma that can limit women and girls, or our collaboration with Rockefeller Foundation to unite the health and environment sectors around the emerging concept of Planetary Health.

A high priority for us is to rally decision makers around the need to prepare for the next global pandemic. I recently co-authored an article in the British Medical JournalGlobal epidemics: How well can we cope? We reviewed the many initiatives and organizations set up after the 2014-15 West Africa Ebola outbreak and concluded that serious gaps remain in terms of leadership, funding, and monitoring. Despite the rapid response and excellent work by WHO in recent outbreaks, I fear we are woefully unprepared for a global outbreak, especially one caused by an unknown virus.

To help push the conversation forward with key decision makers, we are co-hosting with the United Nations Foundation and PATH a panel alongside the UN General Assembly to celebrate the global community’s success in stemming recent outbreaks while highlighting what still needs to be done to ensure the world is prepared for a major outbreak.

Panorama works on a wide range of global health issues, but we think big and bring the energy, scope, and conviction of an action tank to every partnership we build.

Learn more about Panorama.

(Image courtesy of Panorama: Gabrielle Fitzgerald speaking with staff at the national 115 Call Center in Conakry, Guinea, during the Ebola outbreak in 2015)