ORS Impact News

The ORS Impact team has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight and innovation. We work collaboratively with our clients, bringing our distinctive expertise in planning, measurement and evaluation to their most vexing challenges.

Dispatch from Seattle

A message from our CEO, Sarah Stachowiak:


Hello, friends—

What a crazy few weeks it has been. On March 2nd we knew there were diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) in our county. On March 6th we started working home for one week, out of an “abundance of caution.”  By March 14th we knew we’d be working remotely through April 24th – at least. While we continue advancing our work from home, we have reckoned with the fact that we are no longer in “business as usual” as the pandemic is touching all of us in one way or another. 

We are all forging ahead, seeking ways to balance our work with our partners, roommates and/or children who are home with us, our own need to maintain our mental and physical health, and our desire to do good in the world while maintaining (extreme) social distance.

As a company, it means a few things that we wanted to share with you:

  1. We are proactively considering what this means for every project and piece of work. We are interrogating all of our planned work to think about what’s appropriate to continue as originally planned and where we will suggest alternative approaches or timelines. We know everyone is responding to the pandemic in a variety of ways. For some, the direct impact is minimal; for others it is tremendous. We want to support ongoing learning, but we also want to be aware of and responsive to the context we find ourselves in. We’ve all always said context matters. It’s in our face now. We see it as part of our role to lift up these questions and problem solve with you.
  2.  We’ve made the decision to postpone the 2020 MLE Lab, our sixth cohort  that was to be hosted in Seattle in October. We will decide this summer when the right time will be, but keep an eye out for announced dates in 2021.
  3. We are continuing to find new, innovative and creative ways to keep things moving along, as appropriate. We’ve facilitated sessions that would have been in person virtually. Gotten creative with Zoom and other online tools. All of us at ORS come to this work because we believe in the power of what we do to advance equity, social justice and more positive impact in the world. While we may have ways we are constrained or cautious, we continue to be inspired by our clients and seek ways to add value to your work. 

While we aren’t in business as usual, and find ourselves in unprecedented times, we strongly believe that it is as important as ever to think about systems, complexity, those who are harmed or who benefit the least, power, unanticipated outcomes, learning and more. We continue to be inspired by you, your work, and our collective power to do good in the world.

We stand in solidarity with you as we all navigate these days, weeks, perhaps months ahead.


- Sarah and the ORS Impact team


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