The mission of the 21st Century Project is to improve the capacities of communities, state and local governments, and the federal system to work toward genuine solutions to the nation’s problems. Through rigorous, objective, and accessible analysis and outreach, the 21st Century Project will give citizens and governments facts and tools relevant to public decisions. It will also research and promote changes aimed at improving how public institutions operate, such as how they work across institutional divisions to solve common problems, use and generate evidence, and execute challenging responsibilities.

The 21st Century Project embodies the belief that universities and colleges can improve governance through research, expert advice, training for public service, and public dissemination and engagement. This premise echoes and extends 21st Century Project’s mission statement, which calls to share its expertise with “the business, agricultural, governmental, labor, and nonprofit sectors of the state through a program of public service.” The 21st Century Project’s grounding also undergirds how it performs its mission — to educate based on open inquiry and scientific principles, not advocate particular interests or ideological views.

Vision Statement

The 21st Century Project’s mission is broad and can be adapted to future, yet-unknown public problems. In the next decade, however, the 21st Century Project expects to address the following challenges, among others:

  • Generating and using knowledge for public actions, including the evaluation of their impacts.
  • Improving fiscal capacity and management in state and local governments.
  • Building public capacity to implement complex programs and policies.
  • Engaging young people and communities in state and local governance.
  • Finding ways to reduce the inequities of place in U.S. federalism.