CauseLab is an action tank to develop powerful, effective and impactful ideas to end hunger in America.
The CauseLab, which launches as a part of the South‐by‐Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, TX on Monday,
March 15, 2010 is just one component of a year long initiative to spark innovation and broader engagement in
the movement to end hunger in America. More information at www.wecanendthis.com.
Our goal is to end
hunger in America
The latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows that more than 49 million
Americans experience “food insecurity” each year – that is, they’re not sure where they’ll Iind their next
meal. That means one in six Americans is hungry. That staggering number includes nearly 17 million
children, who fall behind physically, cognitively, academically, emotionally and socially as a result of being
hungry. It also includes seniors who are forced to choose between buying food and paying for medication. One‐
third of those in need report that they have been forced to skip meals, cut portions signiKicantly, or go without
food altogether in order just to meet their basic Kinancial obligations.
Important: Hunger in America exists not because we lack enough food, or enough food and nutrition programs
– we have an abundance of both. It exists because there are holes in the delivery system. Individuals and
families need to be aware that programs exist and should be able to easily access them.
You are the experts, innovators, and
disruptors who will shape the solutions
that help Feeding America, Share Our
Strength and Capital Area Food Bank of
Texas end hunger in America.
The South‐by‐Southwest Interactive Festival has designated WeCanEndThis as the ofKicial cause initiative of this
year’s festival ‐‐ and committed to helping end hunger in America. SXSW is the perfect forum for launching this
incredible project. This initiative offers the entire SXSW Interactive community the opportunity to work
collaboratively with Feeding America, Share Our Strength, and Capital Area Food Bank of Texas to help solve a
major social issue.
Each year, SXSW Interactive celebrates the best minds and the brightest personalities of emerging technology.
The Kive‐day festival appeals to über‐geeks and digital creatives who push the cutting edge of technological
change, web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers, inventors,
tech and new media entrepreneurs, gamers and game developers, investors and educators.
We believe this incredibly diverse, talented and creative group ‐‐ when given a challenge like ending hunger in
America ‐‐ has the potential to do absolutely amazing things.
We are not looking for
slogan or Facebook
To end hunger in America, we need to make hunger a top priority in our country and reverse its current
trajectory. That means we need local, national focus to make both short‐term gains and long term goals. And,
most importantly, we need to shift the focus beyond awareness in order to drive meaningful, measurable
We are looking for
new ideas, different
We need creative ideas for educating and engaging Americans around this issue. We need new approaches and
new solutions to address the root causes and established barriers to progress that we face every day. We need
your help to Kind those solutions. And we need to begin right now.
How We Can End This Works... Focus
(Year Long Initiative)
Can Drive CauseLab Hunger Shift WeCanEndThis.com War Room Partners & Sponsors Crowd
This effort begins today. Right now. It will continue every day until we Kind new and better solutions to help
end hunger in America. Those solutions will be created here. They will come from you. They will be driven by
your spirit and creativity. They will be powered by your expertise and informed by your experiences. They will
be fostered and supported over the next year. They will be developed and integrated when the time is right.
They will expand and Klourish with the support of the community ‐ online and ofKline. Anything is possible.
Everything is possible.
Q: How do we create
(and sustain) hunger
across the nation?
Situation: Today 49 million – or 1 in 8 Americans ‐‐ is food insecure – that is – they don’t know where their next
meal is going to come from. This staggering Kigure represents a 46% increase since 2006.
Challenge: Instead of trying to end hunger at the national level, can we tackle the problem at the local level by
creating hunger free communities, community by community, until we create a patchwork of hunger free
communities across America? What is needed? How do we build a community where its members know
someone is in need of food and can help them? A community where someone who is food insecure can receive
Q: How can we
humanize the issue of
hunger, using data?
Situation: There is no shortage of data about the issue of hunger. Data is collected everyday about how many
people are food insecure, what they look like, and the impact that food insecurity has on local communities and
our country. There is historical, geographic and forecasting data. Aside from some key statistics, most of the
detailed information is only shared and used by the governments and organizations assisting the food insecure.
Challenge: What would happen if that data was shared and made accessible to a broader audience, to tell the
story of hunger in America, to drive action, Kind solutions and end hunger in America once and for all? How
should it be presented and what information can be gleaned from it?
Q: How can we
action and advocacy
that truly makes a
Situation: Every community is different and hunger is intensely localized in its impact. But all communities
trying to address the issue of hunger need help: with organization (staff, volunteers, donors, etc.), advocacy
(research, policy) and resources (funding, tools, etc.)
Challenge: How can we help local communities accelerate local advocacy and action, better identify people/
families in need, and collaborate, share learnings, expertise and resources with other communities? Develop
strategies and tools to meet local needs. Recommend ways to share learnings, needs, expertise across
Lots of good
work is being
done... but it’s
There are effective programs working to break down barriers, and provide support to individuals and
families who are hungry, we just need to scale them, to coordinate efforts, connect the dots. Food
assistance, nutrition education programs and the treatment of malnutrition, the promotion of economic
independence for individuals and communities, and advocacy are just a few of the examples of how
government, the non‐proKit community, individuals and communities are working together to alleviate and
prevent hunger and poverty.
The scope of hunger can seem overwhelming. But know this: Together, we can end hunger in America. There is
not just one cause of hunger, and there is not just one solution. One thing is clear, though: hunger in America is
Get To Work
We are committed to ending hunger in America and we are asking you to make that commitment. We want your
ideas and energy, starting today, and your commitment to work with us over the coming year to end hunger in
America. Together, we can end this.