Big Bets

Investing boldly across critical challenges.

Guiding Questions

In thinking about a potential Big Bet, the Foundation considers the following factors:

Problem or Opportunity

Is it ambitious?

  • Ambition: Is this a fundamental problem that affects (or could affect) the flourishing of people and the planet?


Is the goal bold, creative, and strategic?

  • Boldness: Does the proposed approach have truly significant implications for people and society?
  • Creativity: Are we filling a gap? Is the strategy risky in that it may dissuade others from entering the field? Is it new or emerging?
  • Strategy: Does it take advantage of a significant opportunity? Does it leverage others’ actions or resources?


What will it take to achieve the goal?

  • Feasibility: What will it take to achieve the goal? What indicators of success exist?
  • Confidence: What suggests the strategy can be implemented, and that it can be achieved or contribute successfully? What must be known before proceeding?
  • Progress & Learnings: What have we learned about the opportunity during the first two phases?
  • Durability: In what ways is this strategy and/or its results sustainable?

Moment in Time


  • Why now? Are forces converging?
  • Is a window of opportunity opening or closing?
  • Are leaders emerging? Is the societal cost of inaction compelling?

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.

We considered a series of guiding questions as we were Thinking About a Big Bet.