People First.

We care deeply for the people whose stories we tell, the organizations we work with, and the way we communicate to the world.


We work with great people to create world-class multimedia storytelling, grounded in rigorous social science research, to be shared from metropolitan newsrooms to the open savannah. We are uncompromising in upholding the highest ethical standards to ensure the legitimacy of our work and the dignity of those we work with.

In Search of Light.

DAWNING is inspired by the light that touches the horizon each morning. We are optimistic by nature. We believe that a well-told story has the power to make you look at the world in a new light. Our own story is inspired by the myth of Icarus, whose face appears in our logo – like him, we strive to get as close to the light as possible, with a healthy dose of humility in knowing the limitations of our wings.

A Belief in Civic Dialogue

We believe that informed citizens imbue public spaces with potent, even dangerous vitality. We believe in the power of civic dialogue – where underdogs, average citizens, and leaders come together to nurture a more open, empathetic society. For us, relationships come first. Whether with our partners or the people who inhabit our narratives, strong bonds don’t just yield great stories – they are the lifeblood of our work.

A Culture of Equals

DAWNING was founded by a group of friends. We love what we do, and use it to elevate the world we live in. We know that our legacy is not just the work we do but the way we do it. We do not operate as a conventional business, but as a culture of equals with a fierce commitment to excellence. We strive to create a work environment that fosters creativity, resilience, team spirit, grace under pressure, global sensitivity, humility, and empathy in even the most difficult circumstances.

Our Ethical Commitments

We are a non-partisan, non-ideological organization committed to artfully sharing data-driven evidence about pressing issues in a way that puts people first. We are committed to work ethically and collaboratively, listen to one another and the people we encounter. We hold ourselves accountable to each other, our partners and clients, the people who inhabit our narratives, and the public. Our goal is to ensure the highest standards of ethics in the execution of our duties, practice honesty and integrity in and out of the field, and comply with all laws and regulations of the places we work in.

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    A duty to our people

    We do not have hidden agendas or advocate. Our commitment to producing balanced, independent work directly reflects our explicit duty to the people we meet – a duty to fairly amplify their voices, in hopes of sparking further conversation and allowing readers to decide for themselves. Our reporting represents our best independent findings and never personal preferences, or those of our sources, clients, or partners. We are ruthless in the protection of our journalistic and research integrity.

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    Public Service

    A duty to our readers

    Aristotle’s belief in civic virtue has deeply informed the age-old tradition of journalism in the public service. In that spirit we are committed to creating work that is insightful, inspiring, and transparent to equip citizens to engage in productive dialogue that moves the ball forward. In creating work for the world stage, we hold ourselves accountable to the people we work with and the society we share the work with.

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    Mutual Respect

    A duty to one another

    People are at the heart of DAWNING. It is our duty to treat those who inhabit our narratives, those we work with, and one another with respect, care, and dignity. We embody a humanizing research style in which people come first.  Recognizing the delicacy and humanity inherent in our work, the DAWNING team is trained in multiple approaches including trauma-informed care and follows global health and safety mandates in order to approach issues and people with utmost sensitivity.

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    Informed Consent

    We are transparent

    DAWNING always gathers informed, written consent from all participants of our research. In such, we provide a clear explanation of the purpose of the work we are conducting and ask individuals if they are willing to participate. We do not accept or offer remuneration for participation, and we always explain the ways our data will be collected, stored, and disseminated. We strive, when possible, to reconfirm participation before our work is published.

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    Scientific Rigor

    We are grounded

    DAWNING projects employ social science research methods and are held to the highest standards of scientific rigor. Our team includes world-class specialists on social science research applications in international, hard-to-reach communities. Our projects are fact-driven and rely on face-to-face interviews, documentary photography, and in-depth literature reviews, among other methods. In addition, we rely on triangulation of data, methods, researchers, locations, and sources to reach the highest levels of validity.

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    Data Security

    We are careful

    Every project at DAWNING is built on the collecting, sharing, and preservation of first-hand testimony and visual data, the protection of which is paramount to maintaining tangibly reliable bodies of work that stand the test of time. DAWNING is intensely focused on data security both in and out of the field and follows the highest industry standards in defense of our content.

A Duty to Innovate

At DAWNING, we believe that social science can be both accessible and beautiful. We also believe that it can marry journalistic techniques and principles, other branches of science, and every dimension of artistic expression.

Social science must be beautiful to engage people in new ways that move them to dialogue about our collective challenges.

As storytellers we have an obligation to innovate and bring to life issues that, for many, feel distant or esoteric – to make the intangible tangible.

We maintain an ethical commitment to artfully presenting and rigorously disseminating our findings as fairly and widely as possible.

The real storytellers are the ones living the stories. As a duty to the people who inhabit our narratives, we raise up their stories, share them widely, and allow readers to think for themselves.

We do not interject our opinions, advocate, or make policy recommendations.