Who We Are

 

Impact is an open university dedicated to exploring potential solutions to today's most pressing social & political issues through unbiased, civil dialogue between experts & citizens.

 

In democratic society, the facts are a prerequisite to informed progress. Yet our current political environment, clouded by spin and obscured by an overabundance of media, fails to deliver the hard data, diversity of viewpoints and ability to personally engage that we believe are critical to true understanding of a problem. Impact seeks to provide citizens with a new way to engage personally in social progress: one built on a foundation of scholarship, respectful of individual liberty of choice, and empowered our collective commitment to informed progress.

Today, Impact is focused on building our community of like-minded thinkers and building momentum around our Forums. Impact Forums are live learning & discussion sessions aimed at offering everyone a chance to understand, discuss, decide and act on their own terms. Each Forum addresses a major issue head-on, bringing together top-tier thought leaders and engaged citizens of all stripes. To arm all participations with a common starting ground, the Impact team conducts & shares spin-free factual research, vetted by experts from the full spectrum of viewpoints. The core content of our Forum consists of an expert panel carefully chosen for equal representation of views. Discussion is seeded by points raised in our research and guided by the audience via a live engagement system, with the help of an Impact moderator. We hear all sides of the issue, and instigate active audience engagement throughout. All participants are surveyed before and after the event to demonstrate our collective evolution of thinking on a topic, and all participants contribute & vote on potential subjects for future Impact Forums.

The goal of any university is to foster and support change-makers of the future, and Impact is no different. In each Forum, in addition to thought leaders, we strive to host selected change-makers, from non-profit founders to community organizers. By vote of the Impact Community, we have brought on several of these change-makers as Impact Fellows. To date, the Impact team and community has sought to support the efforts of Fellows however possible as as resources allow. These initiatives around social impact incubation are nascent, and we are currently concentrated in the NYC area. As Impact grows as an organization, however, we hope to move from learning & understanding to collective action by building a a more formal network of support & collaboration around our Impact Fellows and their social impact initiatives nationwide.

The breadth and scale of the issues we're addressing are massive. As an individual, even getting started in social impact is hard. But together, we can curate the best ideas and create real momentum when opportunities arise. Every Forum convened or Fellow supported is a first step toward informed, effective progress. If you share our ideals, we hope you'll join us.