THE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE is a non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy research and educational organization that shapes ideas into profound and lasting impact through publications, conferences, and effective multi-media programs. Our mission is to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.
Applying independent thinking to issues that matter, we create transformational ideas for today’s most pressing social and economic challenges. By connecting these ideas with organizations and networks, we inspire action that can unleash an era of unparalleled human flourishing at home and around the globe.
Today, the influence of partisan interests is so pervasive that public-policy debate has become too politicized and is largely confined to a narrow reconsideration of existing policies. In order to fully understand the nature of public issues and possible solutions, the Institute’s program adheres to the highest standards of independent scholarly inquiry.
The Independent Institute may be tiny, but in the 29 years since its founding, it has grown into a respected think tank that made UPenn’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report as the 54th-best think tank in the United States. Originally founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Institute expanded in 2006 to include a second location in Washington, DC. The Institute’s nearly 150 research fellows research, write, and publish their findings for everything from public consumption, to the basis for conferences, to information for media programs. Its most successful publication is undoubtedly the peer-reviewed Independent Review, which includes articles on economics, political science, law, history, philosophy, and sociology. Since 2010, the Institute has run a satellite website called MyGovCost.org, which uses a calculator to individualize for each visitor the personal cost of government spending.