Mission and Vision

Mission: Stanford Impact Labs enables teams of scholars to work in partnership with leaders from public, social, and private sectors to tackle social problems using human creativity, rigorous evidence, and innovative technology. We advance this mission by catalyzing rigorous, problem-focused research and training on social problems with the goal of achieving broad public impact. We call the teams that do this work “impact labs.”  

Vision: To accelerate the impact of higher education in solving our most challenging social problems by reshaping how research and development is done in the social sciences.

We are a new university model that invests and sustains research-practice partnerships with funding, professional support, and a relentless focus on public impact. We flip the traditional idea of a public policy school on its head. Rather than bring policy problems to campus, we prepare, fund, and support teams of scholars to embed themselves with and work in close partnership with governments, philanthropies, companies, and nonprofits to generate evidence and insights that can be put into practice.

The 21st century research university can catalyze these partnerships and support rigorous, problem-focused research and training to create purposeful public impact. Our investments position scholars and practitioners to jointly frame problems, generate and test hypotheses, share insights, and scale solutions to complex problems to achieve broad public impact.

Read more about our approach and how our work supports Stanford’s Long-Range Vision to ensure the university’s research and education makes a purposeful impact in the world.