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Panthea Lee

Photo: UNICEF/Zaidi

Panthea Lee cares a lot about what people think.

When she co-founded Reboot just three years ago, Panthea was imagining how her business would contribute to a new social contract. She knew that there was room to help shape the interactions of institutions with responsibilities for the public good and, most importantly, to facilitate their connections with the people they are serving.

The social enterprise now has offices in New York and Lagos, a team of 19, and clients that include the World Bank, ACLU and Nokia. 

If she refers to Reboot as methodologically agnostic, she’ll also rather quickly explain why – more often than not, a solution combines various frameworks of thought, from user experience design to political economy analysis to applied ethnography. This range of methods is the best arsenal in an attempt to fully understand the issues at hand. Her team works directly with the relevant communities to figure it all out. They slow down, they listen. And, perhaps most importantly, they empathize.

This year Panthea will remain involved in growing and refining Reboot. A few angles they are actively addressing are taking risks and testing new strategies (like living with constituents to really get to know them). They are also increasingly valued as a bridge. “Having more opportunities to bring together actors working on both sides is important – it sounds so obvious, but you see so little of it.”

WATCH Panthea as she and her team develop new user-centric strategies to improve accountability.

(Photo courtesy of Reboot)


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