Working to prevent climate change by curbing emissions and supporting global leadership on climate solutions
Working to address over-incarceration and racial and ethnic disparities by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
Working to reduce nuclear threats by decreasing the availability and use of weapons-useable material.
Reducing corruption by supporting Nigerian-led efforts that strengthen accountability, transparency, and participation.
In thinking about a potential big bet, the Foundation considers the following factors:
Is this a fundamental problem that affects (or could affect) the flourishing of people and the planet?
Boldness, Creativity, and Strategy
Does the proposed approach have truly significant implications for people and society?
Are we filling a gap? Is the strategy risky in that it may dissuade others from entering the field? Is it new or emerging?
Does it take advantage of a significant opportunity? Does it leverage others’ actions or resources?
Mission, Values, and Capacity
How does this work align with MacArthur's mission (Just, Verdant, and Peaceful), history, and identity?
How does this work align with Creativity; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion; Empathy, Integrity; and Learning?
How does it demonstrate attention to racial equity?
Does MacArthur have a particular expertise or history that would make a significant difference?
Is this idea best served by philanthropy?
Feasibility, Confidence, Learnings, and Durability
What will it take to achieve the goal?
What indicators of success exist?
What suggests the strategy can be implemented, and
that it can be achieved or contribute successfully?
What must be known before proceeding?
What have we learned about the opportunity during the first two phases?
In what ways is this strategy and/or its results sustainable?
Why now? Are forces converging?
Is a window of opportunity opening or closing?
Are leaders emerging? Is the societal cost of inaction compelling?
We considered a series of guiding questions as we were Thinking About a Big Bet. As we developed our Big Bet strategies, we designed them to be time-limited. We identified the Big Bet problems, goals, strategies, and desired impacts to contribute to an outcome over a specific period of time.