What We Do
Orb empowers people everywhere to better align their daily decisions with their values and objectives.
We forge rigorous reporting – grounded in original science and advanced data analytics – on issues that impact billions of people around the world, revealing how our interdependent world works.
With information that connects the personal to the global, each of us can activate our personal, professional and civic decisions to shape our world.
Orb categorizes its reporting by eight topic areas: Food, Water, Energy, Health, Education, Environment, Trade and Governance.
As well as the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
How We Do It
Orb takes an unabashedly global and collaborative approach to our work.
Our global, curious, courageous and open mind-set is matched with global data and science on issues that impact billions of people.
Orb’s unique model is inherently collaborative, involving partnerships across sectors and around the world through which we geographically, culturally and intellectually diversify the inputs to, and distribution of our reporting.
- We are community powered, inviting people into our reporting process to enhance, strengthen and diversify it.
- And we are networked. Accessing existing – and building new networks – we work with individuals, organizations, newsrooms and NGO’s, building on each other’s strengths and knowledge.
- We work in this way to effectively deliver information that connects the local and daily to the global and systemic.
Orb Media, Inc is a Washington, DC based registered United States 501c3 nonprofit. See more about Orb’s mission and work in our FAQ.
What We Achieve
This unique production and distribution model ensures Orb’s work has a lasting ripple effect of action and impact that can be intimate, neighborly, global and infinite.
In 2018 we produced six stories to test our assumptions and demonstrate the opportunity. We powerfully proved that our work has legs and impact, reaching hundreds of millions of people in more than 100 countries and 30 languages.
Our reporting affected the public discourse, meaningfully connecting the global issues of the day to the daily life decisions of individuals, activating them to use the power of their personal, professional and civic choices to shape our world.
Our original research and reporting on microplastics found in global bottled water brands activated individuals in households, communities (South Ribble, UK), organizations (Plastic Pollution Coalition), Fortune 500 corporations (Coca-Cola’s Dasani), national regulatory bodies (Indian and Indonesian) and transnational entities (The WHO) to take action and many cited our work in doing so.
Orb measures its impact both through the reach we achieve and the way people use the information we publish.
We’ve done significant reporting on microplastics and we’ve seen our stories revealing microplastics in tap water, bottled water and the challenges consumers face around making the best choice with regards to using plastic. This reporting has powerfully contributed to the awareness and action we see happening globally around managing plastic use and waste today.
While tracking individual actions is hard and expensive, we saw multiple actions taken soon after our publication of these stories, where our research and reporting was often cited as a catalyst of the action, and major public steps in this arena continue to play out as a ripple effect of our impact.
We also endeavor to track not just our reach but how the information we publish infuses the global dialogue through other media.
In June 2018 we published “Age Well: Attitudes matter in a graying world”. Cision, a tool for measuring digital key word mentions, shows an increase of 40% (from 188,600 mentions in the three months prior to publication to 263,500 in the 3 months after publication) in the mention of key words associated with the story, as shown in the graphic on the left in gold below. On the right is the measurement of the same key words in print and TV mentions.
Cision analytics also show that Orb’s September 2018 publication of “Generation Activist: Young people choose protest over traditional politics” catalyzed growth in digital mentions of the key word terms associated with the story by 85% in the month after publication over the month prior to publication.
Why We Do It
The world is globalized, interconnected and shaped by our individual actions.
In this era of growing threats and limitless opportunities for progress it’s of utmost importance that people activate, deploying our daily decisions to create the world we want.
When shown a direct line between a decision made and its outcome, we are each able to see our role and responsibility in shaping the future and are moved to consider our own behavior and call for change.