USA

Social science

RAND Corporation

Institutional description

RAND is a pre‐eminent, non‐profit policy analysis institution with a worldwide reputation for objectivity and insight. Its mission is to conduct objective, fact‐based research and analyses that will raise the level of public understanding of issues of policy and enable effective solutions in public policy decisionmaking. RAND has over seventy years’ experience in helping governmental, non‐governmental, and private sector clients around the world tackle the toughest substantive and analytical challenges they face. RAND is an international organization with its headquarters in Santa Monica, California and principal offices in Arlington, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Cambridge, the United Kingdom, and Brussels, Belgium. RAND’s research staff numbers approximately 1,000 out of a total of some 1,950 employees. Nearly 60 percent hold PhDs or similar advanced degrees. The figure shows the current disciplinary breakdown of the RAND professional staff. RAND maintains a fully accredited graduate school that was the first in the U.S. to offer a PhD in policy analysis. Approximately 30 percent of the graduate fellows come from overseas. RAND provides strong support services to its research staff, including highly sophisticated computing software and hardware systems, an extensive data collection facility, a state‐of‐the art publications department, schedule management and financial systems for tracking projects, and professional advisory groups that contribute statistical, survey, and communications support to projects. Since its inception in 1948, RAND has nurtured a culture that promotes high‐quality scientific and technical research and produces results that are of practical value to decisionmakers. All RAND research faces the challenge of addressing both scientific and policy perspectives. RAND research seeks balance among competing perspectives by treating them fairly, portraying them accurately, and weighting them according to merit. Every RAND report, article, database, and presentation is carefully reviewed before its public release. RAND has formulated a set of guidelines and procedures to help research staff maintain data privacy. The Privacy Resource Team helps manage these types of data, provides guidelines for safeguarding private and proprietary data, and functions as a reference source on practices for safeguarding confidential information.

Department description

RAND Social and Economic Well-Being seeks to actively improve the health and social and economic well-being of populations and communities throughout the world. Its aim is to produce high-quality and consumable research and analysis that addresses critical factors necessary to promote health, social and economic well-being as well as to support decisionmakers and policy influencers in using the best and most practical approaches to solve social and economic problems.
Hallmarks of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being research include objective, innovative approaches to problem-solving; comprehensive understanding of history and context in relevant policymaking; impartial, expert analysis of complex—and sometimes controversial—policy issues; clearly communicated findings and recommendations subject to rigorous quality assurance; engagement at all levels of government (national, regional, local) and with the private sector; capabilities that cut across traditional policy boundaries and span multiple economic sectors often at once. The division works across three program areas: Justice Policy; Community Health and Environmental Policy; and Social and Behavioral Policy. RAND Social and Economic Well-Being pursues many questions that purposefully cut across its research areas and programs.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Steven Popper, PhD

Steven has researched, taught and applied foresight, strategy, decision support under deep uncertainty and economic analysis to many projects for national and regional governments. He was associate director of RAND’s Science and Technology Policy Institute providing analytic support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy including principal authorship of the final U.S. National Critical Technologies Review. He is co-developer of several methods for planning under conditions of deep uncertainty including Robust Decision Making and the STREAM approach designed to support transportation agencies in making informed, missionspecific adoption decisions over innovative technologies. His recent projects on strategic foresight include a major 2050 visioning process for the Road to Zero Coalition of over 400 member organizations.


Arizona State University

Institutional Description

Arizona State University (ASU) is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. ASU’s charter is based on the “New American University” model created by ASU President Michael M. Crow upon his appointment as the institution’s 16th president in 2002. It defines ASU as “a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.” ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the United States. As of fall 2019, the university had nearly 90,000 students attending classes across its metro campuses, more than 38,000 students attending online, including 83,000-plus undergraduates and more nearly 20,000 postgraduates. The university is organized into 17 colleges, featuring more than 170 cross-discipline centers and institutes. ASU offers 350 degree options for undergraduate students, as well as more than 400 graduate degree and certificate programs. The 2019 university ratings by U.S. News & World Report rank ASU No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools in America for the fourth year in a row. Since 2005, ASU has been ranked among the top research universities in the U.S., public and private, based on research output, innovation, development, research expenditures, number of awarded patents and awarded research grant proposals. ASU is currently ranked among the top 10 universities—without a traditional medical school—for research expenditures. It shares this designation with schools such as Caltech, Georgia Tech, MIT, Purdue, Rockefeller, UC Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin. ASU is classified as “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university is one of the fastest growing research enterprises in the United States, receiving $618 million in fiscal year 2018. 

Center Description

The Center for Smart Cities and Regions’ (CenSCR) mission is to advance urban and regional innovation to make more inclusive, vibrant, resilient and sustainable communities. CenSCR collaborates with researchers, policy-makers, planners, entrepreneurs, industry and the public to enhance the ability of cities and regions to responsibly use emerging technological infrastructures and improve quality of life. “Smart technologies” and “big data” have rapidly emerged as hoped for solutions to many of the challenges cities and regions face. Yet, there is often a disconnect between the efforts of technology innovators and the local needs and context of policy-makers and communities. Leveraging resources from across ASU, CenSCR bridges this gap between innovations in data, technologies and urban governance to develop anticipatory capacities and responsible innovation processes to create positive futures for cities, regions and their diverse communities. CenSCR generates ideas, methods, scenarios, networks and spaces for collaboration, engagement, educational programs and other research products to enable our partners to leverage technological innovation to create the urban and regional futures they want. The center serves as a living laboratory for ASU’s own efforts in creating a smart campus, with opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work with multi-disciplinary teams and cross-sectorial teams on real world problems, as well as providing continuing and professional education to city officials on innovation, entrepreneurship and governance.

Principal Investigator: Prof. Erik W. Johnston, PhD

Dr. Erik Johnston is a Professor with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society where he is also the Chair of the Ph.D. program in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology. He is the Co-Director of the Center for Smart Cities and Regions and the Director of Policy Informatics at the Decision Theater. His research in smart cities and regions integrates open governance and policy informatics applications of public interest technology to serve all communities, including participation from traditionally underserved populations. His research in opening governance explores how our governance systems can evolve to address increasingly complex challenges and to meet the rising expectations of the public to have many pathways to share their talents, data, expertise, and energy to improve their communities. His research in policy informatics is the study of how computational and communication technology is leveraged to specifically understand and address complex public policy and administration problems and realize innovations in governance insights, processes, and institutional design. Dr. Johnston contributes to the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience team of fellows, scholars, partners and staff by developing and supporting research and outreach activities in open governance and policy informatics to create new pathways to resilience in education and health systems. Dr. Johnston earned a PhD in Information and a Certificate in Complex Systems from the University of Michigan. He is a two-time NSF IGERT fellow, in the STIET (Socio-Technical Infrastructure for Electronic Transactions) and IDEAS (Institutions, Diversity, Emergence, Adaptation, and Structures) programs.


Technical science

RAND Corporation

Institutional description

RAND is a pre‐eminent, non‐profit policy analysis institution with a worldwide reputation for objectivity and insight. Its mission is to conduct objective, fact‐based research and analyses that will raise the level of public understanding of issues of policy and enable effective solutions in public policy decisionmaking. RAND has over seventy years’ experience in helping governmental, non‐governmental, and private sector clients around the world tackle the toughest substantive and analytical challenges they face. RAND is an international organization with its headquarters in Santa Monica, California and principal offices in Arlington, Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Cambridge, the United Kingdom, and Brussels, Belgium. RAND’s research staff numbers approximately 1,000 out of a total of some 1,950 employees. Nearly 60 percent hold PhDs or similar advanced degrees. The figure shows the current disciplinary breakdown of the RAND professional staff. RAND maintains a fully accredited graduate school that was the first in the U.S. to offer a PhD in policy analysis. Approximately 30 percent of the graduate fellows come from overseas. RAND provides strong support services to its research staff, including highly sophisticated computing software and hardware systems, an extensive data collection facility, a state‐of‐the art publications department, schedule management and financial systems for tracking projects, and professional advisory groups that contribute statistical, survey, and communications support to projects. Since its inception in 1948, RAND has nurtured a culture that promotes high‐quality scientific and technical research and produces results that are of practical value to decisionmakers. All RAND research faces the challenge of addressing both scientific and policy perspectives. RAND research seeks balance among competing perspectives by treating them fairly, portraying them accurately, and weighting them according to merit. Every RAND report, article, database, and presentation is carefully reviewed before its public release. RAND has formulated a set of guidelines and procedures to help research staff maintain data privacy. The Privacy Resource Team helps manage these types of data, provides guidelines for safeguarding private and proprietary data, and functions as a reference source on practices for safeguarding confidential information.

Department information

San Francisco Bay Area Office


Intermediary institution

New Camaldoli Hermitage in cooperation with Esalen Institute

New Camadoli Hermitage
62475 Highway 1 (Lucia)
Big Sur, CA 93920-9533

Esalen Institute
Big Sur Campus
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA, 93920.