Our mission is to empower changemakers and innovators to solve large-scale social problems strategically and conclusively
Established in 2016 as a not-for-profit social enterprise, the Foundation for Inclusion is the world's only organization focused exclusively and relentlessly on the end game in social impact: what it will take to achieve ultimate success against the world's most stubborn challenges.
For every social problem we take on, we work across sectors in collaboration with communities, funders, organizations, businesses, activists, scholars, and other stakeholders. Our goal is to keep everyone focused on the big picture and help all of us work more collectively, more strategically, and ultimately more successfully.
Using our innovative approach to solving complex social problems, we are launching several initiatives to demonstrate that large-scale change is feasible. If you feel like there should be more progress than you're seeing on an issue you're passionate about, let's talk. We might be able to make progress together!
Large-scale social problems are stubborn because they're complex—not in the trivial sense of being "complicated" but in the technical sense of being complex systems. Solving a complex problem in this sense requires three things:
- A way to see the structure of the whole system at once, including everyone and everything affecting the problem.
- A way to discover how the parts of the system work together to produce the problem (or potential solution).
- A way to fill the gaps between how the system currently functions and how it would ideally function to produce more desirable outcomes.
This whole–parts–gaps framework, introduced here, is the conceptual basis for how the Foundation for Inclusion is structured. The Collective Strategy division is the systems integrator, focused on figuring out how to fix whole problem-solving systems, while the “parts” and “gaps” divisions—Impact Accounting and the Inclusion Incubator (see below)—help to refine, implement, and monitor the progress of collective strategies.
We’ve distilled decades of research, experience, and collective wisdom into a rigorous, collaborative process for discovering what it will take to achieve significant and lasting change on any complex social challenge. Each of our initiatives focuses on one well-defined social problem and a collective strategy to solve it. Anyone working on any aspect of that problem may subscribe to the portal we set up for that initiative. Our Collective Strategy platform is designed to host multiple portals at once, so we can launch as many initiatives as there are social problems to be solved!
Contact us to discuss the issues you're working on and see if there might be opportunities to launch a collective-strategy initiative.
With a collective strategy and portal in place, registered users have access to our custom Impact Accounting service, which helps changemakers precisely measure their impact on the ultimate goal and test alternative strategies to improve it. This is the only portal that can be used for both impact assessment and impact evaluation, business management and business strategy, and the simultaneous management of cash flow and social impact. This is offered on a consulting basis today but our vision is to automate the process so we can offer it as a self-service portal in the future.
If you're looking for better ways to measure and magnify your impact, contact us to discuss options.
For each initiative, we work constantly to catalog everyone and everything that significantly influences any aspect of the social problem under focus, collecting data on their activities, capabilities, and achievements. This data helps us identify key gaps in the collective effort so we can experiment with ways to fill those gaps—by developing products, building coalitions, or incubating commercial or social enterprises. (Our incubator is also developing an investment fund so we can scale up social ventures whose products fill gaps in collective strategies.)
If you have ideas you want to test for how to solve large-scale problems better, contact us to talk about ways we can collaborate.
End Human Trafficking for Good
A lot of organizations are working to free people who are trafficked for sex or labor and give them a second chance in life. Law enforcement is working every day to take down trafficking networks. But who is working on long-term solutions? How will we end the demand for the sale of other human beings? How will we reduce the social vulnerabilities that create an endless supply of people susceptible to being exploited for trafficking purposes?
We’re collaborating with freedom networks, data providers, and researchers to build collective strategies for a permanent end to human trafficking—city by city, state by state.
Taking on Structural Racism
Systemic racial inequality, or structural racism, isn’t something that's always expressed directly, in the form of personalized hatred and prejudice. It’s more commonly expressed indirectly, through culture, information, laws, norms, media, and power—things that might not seem too severe individually but that combine in ways that lead to dramatic inequalities in opportunity and harm. The structure of racism is what prevents racial equality from becoming a reality despite the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people working toward racial justice every day.
But structures can be studied, they can be discovered, they can be measured—and they can be changed! Join us in a collective strategy to pull back the curtain and end the power of structural racism once and for all.
Don’t Let Them Divide Us
Americans seem more divided today than we’ve been in at least half a century. But what if most of us don’t want the kind of world the loudest voices in media and politics are selling us? What if most Americans are more open to civility and respectful differences of opinion than the purveyors of division are leading us all to believe? Across the political spectrum, we’re being manipulated by politicians who want our votes, by unscrupulous media making money off our outrage, and even by true believers who don’t understand just how dehumanizing and dangerous their rhetoric has become. It’s not inevitable that our divisions will lead to mass violence, but it’s also no longer unthinkable.
There’s a way out. There’s a movement of bridge builders and peace makers who believe our country was founded on a pragmatic hope that people who disagree can find ways to build a stable and prosperous future. Together we can build that tomorrow. Join us.
Reforming Criminal Justice
In the United States, the rate of incarceration has skyrocketed since the 1970s to the highest of all industrialized countries. That increase has been accompanied by a growing racial imbalance: poor and nonwhite Americans are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates. The growth and disparity in incarceration have been accompanied by an overall decline in violent crime, but the benefits of that decline have not been distributed equally. Overall it remains the case today that poor and nonwhite communities bear a disproportionate burden of both crime and punishment. This situation shows no signs of improving despite the significant efforts and resources that organizations and foundations have been putting toward reform for many years.
What will it take to make incarceration rates lower and fairer while minimizing rates of crime and violence in all communities? Help us map out the criminal justice ecosystem so we can find the breakthrough opportunities we need to live up to a true vision of freedom for all.
The Statelets Game
To build an inclusive future, we need to make sure innovations will not be used in ways that reinforce inequalities, trigger conflicts, or marginalize already vulnerable people. But technologies don’t always get used as intended. We need to make a conscious effort to foresee and forestall problematic outcomes. We can build an inclusive customer base by ensuring diverse participation in design and marketing. But to build an inclusive society we need to understand how our innovations might be used, despite our best intentions, and what damage is possible as a result. And we need more products and platforms that actively encourage inclusion.
Nowhere will inclusion be more important than innovations in how humans will govern ourselves in the future. As more online and blockchain governance systems emerge, we’re designing a game to test how well those different systems can handle increasingly complex social problems while avoiding exploitation and minimizing intergroup conflict.