Our Approach

I think when people look back at our time, they will be amazed at one thing more than any other. It is this – that we do know more about ourselves now than people did in the past, but that very little of this knowledge has been put into effect.” –Doris Lessing

Consider the biggest challenges the world faces right now. Climate change. Infectious disease. Hunger. Extreme poverty and gross inequity. Then consider this: we already have well-established solutions to many of these problems.

We know how to treat HIV and TB. Whole countries have radically reduced their carbon footprint. We grow more food than we need to feed 10 billion people. Our challenge – the major challenge for our time – is to bring good solutions to everyone who could benefit, and to do this as rapidly as possible to end unnecessary suffering.

The Billions Institute was founded to address this need. We exist to take what works and break records for how broadly and quickly it is spread. We have asked ourselves how we would solve the world’s most pressing problems if we only had twenty years to do it, and we are seriously pursuing the answer, committed to advancing the art and science of large-scale change in the process.

Specifically, we support organizations in the social sector who are taking local successes to a global scale, and we seek to train thousands of others to lead transformative movements. We are not interested in merely raising awareness or collecting signatures; our primary goal is broad behavior change that reduces suffering. We also push ourselves to reinvent how social progress actually happens, designing new tools and institutions to accelerate global change.

Our work is anchored by our Model for Unleashing, a framework for unleashing impact at significant scale. The model emphasizes:

  • Clear purpose and aims;
  • Thoughtful design for scalability;
  • Appropriate use of many vehicles for reaching broad impact (from replication to commercialization to mergers to policy change);
  • Agile, distributed operations;
  • Deep, data-driven improvisation; and
  • Management approaches that reduce fear and spark creativity across large movements.

Our approach is rooted in optimism and relentless action. We believe big change is urgent and entirely possible, and we hope to join you in pursuit of it!

Wants Book

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