Help Fund C-PET!
Think tanks – non-profit policy institutes – are funded in various ways.
In Washington, we know all about following the money! Partisan or ideological organizations get partisan, political funding. Non-partisan set-ups are often funded by corporate donors, and tend to come up with the kind of conclusions those corporations favor. Some other groups are not actually independent, but function as departments of universities.
Since it was established in 2007, C-PET has resisted all three of these models. We are carefully non-partisan, and our board members, advisers and fellows are spread across the party/ideology spectrum. We have declined to follow the largely corporate-funded route in order to maintain our impartiality – though we are happy to receive corporate funding that isn’t tied to outcomes (and recognize that groups thus funded can do good work). So, we are grateful to the Microsoft Institute for helping fund our recent conference on innovating government. We have also retained our independence from potential university hosts. In fact, prior to founding C-PET I myself directed two centers on technology and policy at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which hosted a series of policy events in DC, so we have nothing against academe. But we have sought to maintain C-PET’s independence and freedom of action.
Of course, this comes at a cost. So we find ourselves appealing to people like you for contributions. If you appreciate our output of commentaries, events, teleconferences, and other initiatives, we hope you will help (see below for the summary of our most recent event, on the future of cybersecurity). There’s a Paypal button at the top of the C-PET website (or you can send a check to the address below). Small and large gifts are welcome, and we are happy to discuss corporate sponsorships also. If you work with a foundation and some aspect of our work might be a fit, please let us know. We would like not just to continue C-PET but to scale it, so our message can be amplified.
And at heart, what is our message? There are three aspects:
the questions raised by emerging technologies are much more important than most in the policy community realize;
policy issues are much more important than most in the technology community realize;
and engagement with the long term is crucial for current decision-making.
We are committed to furthering this discussion because we consider it vital to American prosperity and security, the good of the global order, and the integration of values and dramatic shifts that have only just begun.
If you agree and these issues matter to you, we look to you to help fund us.