How does our team source inspiring innovations?

Friday, February 5
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Sparknews, Paris

Sparknews has 3 main missions: sourcing, sharing, connecting.

How does Sparknews’ sourcing process work?

Sparknews’ content sourcing team is made up of two passionate and inspiring young women and a young man, who are convinced by the power of social entrepreneurship and the power of the media to change the world. Before joining Sparknews, Emma Stokking spent long periods working in the Philippines and in India, where she got to know many grassroots entrepreneurs, and understand first-hand their dreams, strategies and challenges. Her team mate Tess Abbott brings insight from her experiences as an intern at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, at a sustainable development consultancy in London, and work on a LIFE+ environmental project in Brussels. These previous experiences ensured they already had an understanding of the role of positive innovation and helped them develop the research skills required for tracking down the most shining examples of innovation that can inspire the greatest number of readers. 

Here are some of their strategies:


  1. Seek out projects approved by social entrepreneurship networks, incubators and accelerator programs, to capitalise on their excellent knowledge of a diverse range of existing projects with a high social and environmental impact in the sector.

  2. The launch of our amazing Call for Projects. The best way for us to learn about the most impactful projects from all around the world  is for the innovators and entrepreneurs to tell us directly! So over the last few years we have been using a Call for Projects, which we aim to share with the widest audience possible.

  3. Contact experts for advice on a project in their field, to bring a specialist’s insight to the selection process.  Sometimes a project may seem incredible at a first glance, especially if it concerns a pressing issue or particularly innovative technology, yet certain projects are “false good ideas” (Emma), that might seem to respond to a problem but actually create other issues, or aren’t the most innovative in their field.

  4. Encourage the #Sparkspotters community to help track down the best projects! The idea is to develop this community with the aim of attracting innovators whose inspiring projects haven’t had the opportunity to gain media coverage yet.

  5. Work as a team - for example by holding ‘Spark lunches’ as a way of sharing the most recently selected projects with the whole team to get their reactions. Thanks to the team’s feedback and the discussions that follow, Emma & Tess’s content team get a better idea of the impact that these projects could have on readers.


Tess: “It’s also about how a story makes you feel, and how it could inspire the readers. Watching a project video as a team helps us understand what effect the story could have. If it gets everyone excited, that’s a good sign!”


  1. Collaborate closely with Amy Serafin, the editor-in-chief of Impact Journalism Day to benefit from her expert advice on what makes a great story!


Yes, you’ve got it - sourcing by Sparknews means a whole lot of research, collaboration with experts, journalists, the Sparknews team and of course the wonderful community of internet users around the world who interact with Sparknews! Join us - become a #SparkSpotter, share our call for projects and help our content team discover the most amazing innovative and positive projects!