Tom Goetz, Angela Davis (1967-75). From The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975,  Third Streaming Gallery (2011).

Tom Goetz, Angela Davis (1967-75). From The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975, Third Streaming Gallery (2011).


How We Work

True innovation only happens when we stop downloading existing frameworks and habitual ways of working.


“Yona’s values are so well aligned with Protocinema’s that our transition from startup to growth was an expansive, stabilizing process.”

— Mari Spirito, Executive Director and Curator, Protocinema, Istanbul, New York



Today’s economic reality is embedded in a global ecosystem of environmental, social, political, and cultural contexts that are highly intertwined and that evolve in uncertain, complex, and volatile ways. These conditions require a mindset on the part of decision makers that is more open, attentive, adaptive, and tuned in to emerging changes. In effort to meet the complex challenges and demands of our time, we seek to disrupt a framework of social, economic, and cultural thought that is stuck in the past. We co-create a new framework from an awareness-based view alongside our clients, and link it to practical methods and tools for addressing challenges. We coordinate collaboration processes that result in a different solution to the principal challenges facing our clients. We connect with and learn from emerging future possibilities while appropriating proven methodologies from the past. We provide a framework for learning, listening, and innovating resulting in profound systemic renewal. We have learned that the structure of awareness and attention determines the pathway that leads to the most impactful, high-quality results.



Depending on the project, we typically begin by articulating a set of objectives and clarifying core values to provide the framework for a customized process tailored to meet our client’s goals and needs. We ground our process in how the foundation or organization actually works, working from the ground up to assess programmatic effectiveness and impact.

Backer assembles a team of colleagues as needed to achieve a project’s goals.

Our approach is based on an inquiry-driven practice of deep listening and immersion. We work with interconnected wholes rather than contingent parts. Depending on the project, our work typically takes place in three distinct yet interrelated parts:

  1. Co-initiating Phase

    During this phase we build common ground with our client and constituents.

  2. Research, Discovery, Reflection

    We gain an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the organization. It is a deliberate approach that maps out the direction of a given initiative. We establish a comprehensive framework; forming the vision, principles, and strategic approach.

  3. Design & Implementation Phase.

    We present solutions that are practical and effective to implement. Finally, we prototype the new — focusing on reviewing, sustaining, and advancing the practical results.

Image courtesy Third Streaming. Image credit Whitney Browne .

Image courtesy Third Streaming. Image credit Whitney Browne.




We Believe In…



3S delivers its clients integrated strategies and customized plans that are practical and realistic to achieve through a consensus-driven approach. Through research and analysis, we design a process that best suits our clients’ needs, with the end goal of improving their performance for long-term sustainability. We bring our outsiders’ objectivity and insiders’ knowledge to help our clients answer questions critical to their success, and provide accurate and timely information through research, development strategies, program evaluation, and technical assistance.



Yona Backer has built a reputation for her integrity and forward-thinking approach to business development and philanthropy in the fields of art and culture. She engages her clients as thought partners, and inspires change by gaining consensus and alignment among staff, board, and other key participants. Based on a practice of deep listening, Backer and her team develop a strategy aligned with their clients’ values, resulting in high-impact, pattern-breaking work. Through a process of inquiry and analyses that covers all aspects of the organization, including staff, board, financial practices, and  programming, Backer distills the core issues and values in alignment with her client’s vision and mission. Using that as a framework, she moves from aspirations to goal setting; from ideas and options to create a practical, attainable plan for implementation that ensures long-term effectiveness, organizational change, and financial health.


3S provides comprehensive evaluation services and critical assessments of its client’s achievements and successes. We make recommendations for improvements, enhanced organizational effectiveness, and increased field impact. 3S aims to meet its client’s goals and achieve organizational health through our collaborative approach. We accomplish this by establishing a culture of cooperation and by identifying the strategies that work best, and leverage available resources with the goal of enhancing impact in a rapidly changing world. 

Terry Adkins, "Lone Wolf Recital Corps" (1986, onwards). Image courtesy of Third Streaming Gallery, 2012. Image credit Claudia Mandlik.

Terry Adkins, "Lone Wolf Recital Corps" (1986, onwards). Image courtesy of Third Streaming Gallery, 2012. Image credit Claudia Mandlik.