Once upon an innovation: How to create compelling impact stories and drive change

Photo: WFP/Joerg Koch


Impact story

  • Share progress and the journey so far. This could be for fundraising, advocacy and digital communications activities.
  • Design and iterate. This could be to set a strategy, design for users, business modelling and implementing your pilot initiative.
  • Make better decisions. This could be for governance issues like strategy, risk, legals and financials, and to think about the power and decisions required of the community impacted.
  • Advocate for your community. This could be for users and reporting requirements, e.g. driven by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Continuously learn. This could be to grow your team, fail forward, navigate complexity and influence the systems you are engaged with.

Impact story framework

Now is the era of impact stories — the ability for an innovator to be bold, real and principled in their storytelling.

  • What is the range of users, sectors and stories you cover?
  • What time frame are you referring to?
  • What is out of scope? This one is helpful to narrow your focus.
  • What is the one sentence they use to describe your innovation?
  • What is the one fact or piece of data they reference?
  • What is the call to action the audience remembers? e.g. Is it awareness, education and knowledge, driving them to act or change behaviour or something else?
  • Can you name the tribe or organisation?
  • Can you list the 3–5 people or roles that have influence?
  • How do you plan to reach them? i.e. the communication channels.
  • What are the keywords or pattern language that they care about?
  • What do you want your target audience to think, feel and do after learning of your impact story? For example, this could be clarity on your innovation, a roadmap of action to engage with you, or insights and inspiration from your work.

Looking ahead




Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.

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WFP Innovation Accelerator

WFP Innovation Accelerator

Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.

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