To give you a chance to get to know all of the startups a bit better, we asked them some questions. Meet What if!
Starting at the base of every societal startup. What problem are you trying to solve?
The media of today tend to focus on crisis and what is not working. This make people loose hope and become passive. There is a need of a balanced reporting – another perspective that is giving people inspiration, telling the news and stories about what’s working – bringing back hope and participation. We aim to provide another perspective – a constructive one.
Journalist’s primary task is to inform the readers about the world around them – we believe our task is also to help them engage with it. To help people make their own decisions and participate actively in the world around them, we need not only to reveal problems and crises, we also have to tell stories about possible solutions. Simply reporting news about what’s broken and what’s wrong doesn’t give a full accurate picture of what’s going on. Whatif tells stories that are both critical and constructive. We see the world with both eyes.
How are you going to solve this? What is your idea?
Whatif is a digital news platform where we aggregate and republish valid constructive news from different media sources around the world. We help readers to find the best constructive stories of today. Together with journalist teams around the world, we produce and publish the untold constructive news & stories. We are experimenting with modern ways of storytelling and are also presenting our news & stories in several languages.
What impact do you hope to have?
We become what we consume. More and more people avoid traditional news according to new media research. They find them too depressing and negative. By telling more constructive and solution based news and stories we aim to bring back hope and strengthen the engagement in the society. We hope to start a more constructive conversation and in the long run to strengthen democracy.
Focusing more on your team. Who are you? What is your background?
Katarina Liljenberg – 20 years of experience in the media industry, for the last 6 years head of marketing at one of the biggest Swedish newspapers: Sydsvenskan. Today consultant and CEO focusing on business strategy, marketing solutions and leadership. Devoted to new media solutions and a constructive way of describing the world. Co-created a prize winning media-platform for political news about the Swedish election, in several languages.
Cecilia Nebel – news journalist, editor, moderator and former head of public relations at Sydsvenskan, entrepreneur. She also co-created Drivhuset Malmö an entrepreneur incubator for students. Today CEO at Nebel Media – focusing on constructive news & moderated debates. Former editor at the cultural magazine Opus. Founder of Late Night Lund a talk show with constructive conversation. Devoted to storytelling, news and finding the other perspective – the constructive.
Why did you become societal entrepreneurs? Or really, why do you do what you do?
We love to think outside the box, to create and develop new ideas. We want to do more – and better!
Now a few weeks into the accelerator program. Why did you apply for SoPact? What have you learned so far that you want to share with other societal entrepreneurs?
We have accelerated our work with the business plan, revenue streams and concept. SoPact really gives us a great possibility to get new tools, contacts and network.
If I as a reader want to engage or help you reach your goals of impact. How can I do so? Is there any way to help at this stage?
Yes! We are looking for developers who can help us create the best multilingual digital platform for aggregated news. We are also searching an English and Arabic speaking editor.
If you are a philanthropist or investor and want to help us fund this new media platform – please contact us and we will tell you more. The world needs this – and we need you!
Curious? Please follow our work and progression at facebook.com/whatif-media
Photo by Amanda Westin.