What is a Solutionary?

Solutionary [suh-LOO-shuh ner-ee]

a person who identifies inhumane, unsustainable, and unjust systems and then develops solutions that are healthy and equitable for people, animals, and the environment.

pertaining to or characterized by solving problems in a strategic, systemic way that does the most good and least harm to people, animals, and the environment.

What’s the difference between a solutionary and a problem-solver?

When solutionaries seek to solve a problem, they identify all who are impacted by the problem and the systems that perpetuate it. This includes all people, other species, and the environment. Once they understand the systems that create and support the problem, they devise a solutionary solution.

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

While solutionaries often do humanitarian acts, they primarily focus on solving problems so that they cease to exist. Whereas a humanitarian may donate money to a food pantry, participate in a beach clean up, or volunteer at an animal shelter, a solutionary spends more of their time and effort trying to solve the problems of hunger, pollution, and animal cruelty, while still participating in humanitarian acts to alleviate suffering.

Watch Zoe Weil’s TEDx talk Solutionaries for a deeper understanding of the principles by which solutionaries live and how they go about choosing and addressing problems.

Next: The world needs solutionaries