Mission | Vision | Values


Partnering with communities to put social science to work for society.

We do this by:

  • Investing to learn what works in designing, testing, and scaling solutions
  • Training scholars and practitioners to harness data and evidence for impact
  • Promoting a culture of public impact in higher education



We envision a world where measurable and meaningful solutions to social problems are co-created by change agents from impacted communities; the public, private, and social sectors; and higher education.

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



Our work is guided by the following set of shared values and principles:

Focus on Outcomes that Improve Peoples' Lives

When we invest, we expect to see a return on investment - not in dollars - but in outcomes that improve the conditions of people’s lives. We work on the “back end” as funders and trainers, supporting scientists and practitioners working in partnership to generate meaningful change. We strengthen our team, our investments, and our approach by bringing in the perspectives of those who experience or have experienced the harms of social problems.

Pursue Experimentation and Learning

With humility about what we do not know and respect for different ways of knowing, we engage new approaches and ideas, test them, put them into practice, and communicate openly about what we discover. We ask ourselves how we can strengthen our team, improve our processes, and deliver better outcomes. We seek feedback at every opportunity, give feedback generously to others, and seek to learn from our mistakes in order to learn and grow.

Work in Partnership

We work to foster equitable partnerships that are rooted in curiosity, humility, openness, and mutuality. We look for opportunities to collaborate and co-create (which is harder!) rather than to go it alone. For us, this means bringing people into our work from the outset, before our ideas are fully developed. We recognize that the university is only one part of the solution and seek to build bridges across other parts of the problem-solving ecosystem. We build trust by being dependable - doing our part first - and we recognize that trusting relationships are a critical ingredient for making change.

Embrace Diverse Perspectives

We seek out and embrace diverse and underrepresented perspectives in our team, those we support, and the people who influence our thinking and hold us accountable. We ask ourselves: Whose perspective might be missing in our understanding of a problem or opportunity?, seek those perspectives out, and engage directly with them as we make investments, design programs, and do our work. Inclusion means that we seek to understand, embrace and celebrate different ways of thinking and working.

Commit to Equity

Equity is achieved when a person’s identity no longer systematically exposes them to risks or grants them privileges with respect to social and economic outcomes. Our commitment to equity involves being conscious of, deeply considering, and striving to address structural factors that benefit some social groups/communities and harm others. We bring this lens to our work as a team, our engagement with partners, the investments we make, and the training programs we offer.