The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment (SIE) at UCLA explores how the entertainment industry can speed up social progress.

They needed to show industry professionals and academics the extent of what this emerging field is achieving.

So we worked together to create The State of SIE, the first report to bring together the viewpoints and insights from the field into one place.

A meeting of the Skoll team at Human After All’s studio in East London

We constructed a robust data narrative in order to weave our findings throughout the entire report.

Our first step was understanding what makes a piece of social impact entertainment

We also needed to work out how to apply a definition of SIE to the other types of media the report needed to cover.

Skoll chapter icons
The State of SIE social card with Leonardo DiCaprio quote
Background research books and reports for the project

To answer those questions, we ran a literature review

It gave us a pool of information. We gathered case studies, qualitative research and a database of companies involved in SIE.

This information gave us the makings of our contributor list, as well as our map designed to outline this interconnected field.

Icons showing the stages of our process to put the report together
Icons showing the stages of our process to put the report together
The State of SIE printed fold out map

We used what we learnt to set out what The State of SIE would say

We ran a workshop to create the flatplan and narrow down the list of contributors.

We also knew we needed our contributors’ articles to be backed up by data. So we ran sessions to plot those two strands of information — qualitative and quantitative — beside one another.

A data visualisation showing bar charts
A data visualisation showing an earth illustration

This gave us the all-important narrative for the whole report

And that directed how we developed the design. With this, the flatplan, the narrative and knowing what materials we needed agreed, we created the media pack to approach contributors with.

After working with an LA PR team to send that out, we were ready to start creating.

The State of SIE printed report spread

Our interviewed experts ranged from Hollywood A-listers, directors, producers, funders and established academics.

Now it was time for the mammoth run of interviewing, writing and designing to kick off

We interviewed our 52 contributors (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tabitha Jackson, and Tom McCarthy) and ghost-wrote the articles they inspired.

The State of SIE printed report spreads

The State of SIE printed report spreads

The State of SIE printed report spreads

The State of SIE printed report spreads

The State of SIE printed report spreads


And while we were writing these, we designed over 200 data points and turned our map of the space into an interactive website feature. So that anyone coming to The State of SIE online could navigate the community and explore connections between industries.

We turned vast spreadsheets of data into a clean, coherent and expansive visualisation of the SIE landscape.

The State of SIE printed report foldout
The State of SIE digital platform mobile website

When the report launched in April 2019, its content reached over 20 million people

After the launch at the Creative Artists Agency in LA, contributors shared the online content on their social media. That push alone reached over 20 million of their collective followers.

The State of SIE social cards

Human After All’s work on the State of SIE is quite literally a miracle. It would be impossible to find a better partner - or for them to have executed more sublimely on our shared vision.

Peter Bisanz, Executive Director at The Skoll Centre for Social Impact