Active Voice Lab investigates, analyzes, and shares information about how character-driven media can contribute to culture and policy change. We use mixed methods to explore what’s working and, more importantly, what needs more attention.

When it comes to creative storytelling, are the terms “supply and demand” taboo? Active Voice Lab surveyed 75 nonprofits and held focus groups to learn what kinds of stories organizations crave when they need to humanize their mission.

How can public opinion polling and “messaging research” help mediamakers understand audience members’ values? Active Voice Lab paired producers with issue experts to create and use films that tell powerful stories, engage people across divides, and help them understand the high stakes of policy reform. Read more here.

Can an ecosystem of change help a “missing story” come to life and help launch a movement? Based on web content analysis, Active Voice Lab designed a multimedia project — including a feature length documentary — that helped an emerging nonprofit become an international pioneer. Read more here.

Active Voice Lab’s predecessor, Active Voice, partnered with Participant Media to produce a social action campaign around the The Visitor, which explores the experience of living through the U.S.’s immigration detention system. We helped a network of partners use the film to both shine light on real detainees, local detention centers, and legal networks in 30 communities around the country, and to energize the national dialogue about post-9/11 security by raising values of justice and due process among new audiences. Read our case study to learn more about the campaign.

How can carefully curated video content move the public conversation about immigration “beyond the choir”? AV Lab commissioned Irina Lee to create five professionally produced first-person memoirs of modern U.S. immigrants and solicited user-generated content, sharing the content with immigration experts, educators, and museum curators. Read more here.

Click here to watch all of the “Welcoming Stories.”