Changing the Future of Wild Fish, Phase II

Executive Summary

Future of Fish was born from a unique partnership between Ashoka, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Central, a design strategy firm. In its infancy as a stand-alone project, the goal was to find new, market-based solutions to drive increased demand for sustainable practices in the seafood industry.

The project team, led by FoF founder Cheryl Dahle, combined Ashoka’s deep knowledge of the entrepreneurial mindset with design thinking, a problem-solving approach that relies on ethnographic research and rapid prototyping. The result was a methodology that aimed to identify the most powerful levers of change in the field, and then provide a path to invent a new solution to effect systemic change.

“We ultimately realized that we needed to go beyond a new company idea, to create an idea that would make all ideas in the field stronger, bigger, and more effective.”

The project team spent eighteen months analyzing the work of innovators, conducting anthropological observation in four countries, and synthesizing that research into a theory of change and a prototype of a new business. The project’s premise was that the environmental and social challenges caused by complex systems need unexpected approaches that require foundations, companies, and the public sector to partner in new ways.

This Executive Summary reviews Future of Fish’s journey of discovery into the seafood supply chain, highlighting stories from the field, shedding light on the systemic barriers that have impeded sustainability within the industry, and culminating with an idea that would make all ideas in the field stronger, bigger, and more effective. That idea was an innovation hub that would create targeted, efficient, and powerful industry competitors whose practices spark a reinvention that supports and drives sustainability. That idea is Future of Fish.