What Is a Solutionary?

I think I understand what a solutionary is, but what’s the definition? 

  • A solutionary is someone who identifies inhumane, unsustainable, and unjust systems and then develops solutions to transform them so that they are restorative, healthy, and equitable for people, animals, and the environment.
  • A solutionary brings critical, systems, strategic, and creative thinking to bear on pressing and entrenched challenges in an effort to create positive changes that don’t have unintended negative consequences on anyone, human or nonhuman.
  • A solutionary strives to make personal choices and support systems that do the most good and least harm for all life.

What’s the difference between a solutionary and a humanitarian?

Humanitarians – those people who seek to alleviate suffering and directly help others, whether human or nonhuman – serve a crucial function in a world where there is an acute and immediate need. Solutionaries often do humanitarian acts, but their focus is always on changing the systems that contribute to, or cause, the problems in the first place. Solutionaries focus on solving problems so that they cease to exist. 

How can I become a Solutionary?

To be a solutionary, you first need to bring a solutionary lens to problems and to learn to think like a solutionary. Watch this video to understand what this means:

Next you need to practice using the Solutionary Framework. You can find an outline of this process here

Ready to get started?

  • Want to bring solutionary education to your students? Download the Solutionary Guidebook, and follow the steps to help your students identify and solve problems they care about.
  • Want to be a solutionary yourself? Consider the three questions that will guide you on your own solutionary path by watching this 11-minute TEDx.