Two years ago, journalist David Bornstein started contributing to a column called Fixes for The New York Times that explored solutions to major social problems.
More than identifying creative initiatives, the columns addressed why the solutions worked, through a hybrid reporting style that was half investigative and half explanatory. Soon, emails from academics started flowing into Bornstein's inbox: teachers and professors were examining the issues with their students and trying to adapt them to their classes.
That process could become a lot easier for a wider range of educators, thanks to Marquette University winning a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday. The grant will allow the university will team up with Bornstein and fellow New York Times reporter and author Tina Rosenberg to adapt Fixes content into lessons that educators can use, from K-12 to postsecondary school.
The partnership, called FixesU, aligns with Marquette University's social innovation initiative, an area of growing interest worldwide defined by new strategies or ideas that address social needs in nontraditional ways. Milwaukee's nonprofit urban farm Growing Power is social innovation. So is Goodwill Industries.