Good endings, and towards new beginnings. 2021 in a nutshell.

Same same, but different.

Issue Nº 7, January 2022
Hello people! While 2020 was a challenging year globally, in 2021, we saw some light at the end of a long dark tunnel. The pandemic, black lives matter, and effects of end-stage capitalism continue to create conditions for us to be intentional, reflective, and bold. A few changes for us in 2021: 
  • As a company, we are relieved to have rebounded financially from COVID-19 business impacts—as we collectively figure out how to live with a pandemic and its effects, our services are in high demand. This demand has led us to move toward a team approach intentionally. 
  • Last year, we invested time, energy, and emotions into a hiring process that fits our ethics and culture. We are excited to announce that we have moved from a 3-person team to a 6-person core team! And we are seeking even more expertise for our core team of transdisciplinary adventurers. Check out the well-rounded team we have on board to enrich our work in the coming year.
  • Our principle of “attraction rather than promotion” is bearing a bounty— leaving us much more comfortable with ourselves and more secure in what Picture Impact has to offer. No longer chasing things is such a relief. We recommend it highly!
  • We have not traveled in over a year, as much for Covid safety as our desire to recognize and work with the wealth of expertise and talent in the global majority. We have honed in on what can be done remotely and what needs in-person time to be most effective. And we continue to refine what is appropriate for our US-based bodies to take on and what needs to remain with local experience, hearts, and minds. 


  • We had 9 active projects spanning topics as broad as care reform, HIV/AIDS monitoring during covid, trust-based philanthropy, and mental health digital apps! 
  • We grew from a team of 3 to 7
  • Traveled to 0 countries
  • Engaged 4 different coaches for investing in ourselves, our talent, and work of learning and unlearning
  • Kept in touch with you more, sending 11 newsletters
  • Made our office more beautiful (with 5 new light fixtures, some new furnishings, and inspiration)
Image shows a collage of different photographs including: 1. A blue chair on the top left, 2. Text which reads "Bring your whole self" right next to it, 3. A dried tree stem, 4. A light fixture at the bottom left, 5. Some sticky notes and sketch pens next to it, 6. A bright white pattern at the bottom right

The numbers tell a story. What was important to us in 2021 was the work we did, our team, the shift in practice, our investment in ourselves, sharing our work, and creating beauty.

Before we sign off, we want to take a minute to thank everyone that we worked with, including clients, partners, and service providers, without whom we would have been able to achieve what we did in 2021. We look forward to being in touch with you more this year!

With so much gratitude, 

Anna & Katrina  

What is emerging?

The design for social change database reveals that there truly is tremendous growth in this area of social design—there are so many more firms than when we started in 2014. We are so happy to be in good company. We can feel the difference this makes, slowly there is more and more demand for our services.

Simultaneously there is an increased demand for complexity-aware evaluation. We are seeing more and more requests for developmental evaluation, learning partners, adaptive management, and strategy reviews. We find this thrilling—people turning to these ways of working as a necessity in meeting the true complexity and pace of change highlighted by COVID and the BLM movement.


Here are some stepping stones we passed this year that contributed to strengthening the direction in which we want to move ahead.
  • Our new and growing team - head here to see the fantastic talent we now have
  • Resisting the siren call of urgency. We tried not to get caught up with what others consider urgent when we realized a different approach was needed. It is really, really hard to do, but urgency never leads to good outcomes.  
  • There is new truth-telling within international development—amongst practitioners and occasionally more publicly—about normative practices that serve the industry, not people, and about knowledge and practice that is still unused despite its availability for decades. We do our best to speak up from our own experience and add to this brave set of voices naming the realities around us.

Talk to Us

Picture Impact is developing three clear streams of work— complexity-aware learning and evaluation, behavior-centered and user-centered learning and tool(kit) design, and a natural overlap in the space of formative research using interactive, game-based tools for making meaning with people. These three spaces have offered us abundant opportunities for our learning, unlearning, and relearning regarding our practices and their alignment with decolonizing and antiracism actions.

We want to intentionally take on work this next year that continues to let this journey unfold for us, our clients and partners, and those more broadly in this industry.

To that end, we’d love to know if we should be talking with you. What’s on the horizon for 2022? Is it a match?

Are you on a learning journey this year? This might look like this: 
  • Something new, an innovation, pilot project, or product
  • Formative research for scale-up or context adaptation
  • Knowledge management and adaptive management for multi-country or consortium projects
Are you working on behavior and social change? This might look like this: 
  • A curriculum, training, or coaching engagement
  • Complex program delivery, dependent on each role to perform well
  • Toolkit creation and/or dissemination of learning for uptake by specific audiences
Are you looking to design with communitiies and understand how learning or change could be contextualized? This might look like: <
  • Formative or design-centered research
  • Situational analysis
  • Landscaping or reviews of current practices and ideas/li>
Find time here to explore and talk to us.
I sometimes forget that
I was created for joy
My mind is too busy
My heart is to heavy
Heavy for me to remember
that I have been
called to dance
the sacred dance for life
I was created to smile
to love
to be lifted up
and lift others up
O sacred one
Untangle my feet
from all that ensnares
Free my soul
That we might
and that our dancing
might be contagious.

Picture Impact is a women-owned small business.
December 2020. All rights reserved.

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