Girl standing in front of group of people Girl standing in front of group of people

Our Work

Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a charitable organization that finds and connects talented people across fields, generations, and geographies to harness their collective skills for public benefit.

We are now excited to launch Schmidt Sciences, the next evolution of our science-focused initiatives.

Scroll

Our programs

Rise

Rise is a program that finds promising young people and provides opportunity for life as they work to serve others.

Learn more

Technologists for Global Transformation

The Technologists for Global Transformation program (formerly the Associate Product Manager program, or APM) develops and deploys an exceptional network of early career technologists to solve systemic global challenges for public benefit.

learn more

International Strategy Forum

International Strategy Forum aims to forge an interdisciplinary network of rising leaders to strengthen progress and security amid technological innovation and a changing world order.

learn more

Innovation Fellows

The Innovation Fellows program supports extraordinary mid-career individuals and teams with ideas to apply  technology thoughtfully to solve important societal challenges.

learn more

Learning Engineering

The Learning Engineering program aims to improve our fundamental understanding of how people learn and how we can customize teaching to increase student outcomes globally. The program recruits science talent, creates partnerships between university researchers and owners of digital platforms, and scales the lessons from those partnerships to reach a growing number of students.

Supported Projects

Convergent Research

Convergent Research is an incubator within the Schmidt Futures Network that aims to help fill a structural gap in today’s R&D system by enabling research that requires unusual levels of scale and coordination yet is not rapidly monetizable by industry. Convergent Research applies scientific roadmapping to systematically identify high-leverage research opportunities in this category, ultimately defining and launching these projects as Focused Research Organizations (FROs).

Learn more

Examples of Work

Historic Schmidt Futures activities were funded by diverse types of charitable and non-charitable capital.

Entrepreneur in Residence

The Schmidt Futures’ Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program was created to provide some of the world’s most talented people with the opportunity to incubate new ideas for public good and to invest in efforts with the potential for impact at scale. It prioritized scouting exceptional talent, building networks and partnerships, and establishing the program as a hub for impactful entrepreneurship. The selection process evaluated candidates globally based on diverse criteria. The program culminated in a graduation pitch, offering EIRs the chance for a $1M investment. While the program was impactful, Schmidt Futures decided to shift focus from equity investments, leading to the sunset of the EIR program.

Although the program has since come to a close, the EIR alumni continue to pursue their respective efforts and contribute lasting impact.

The Virtual Center for Advanced Potential

This program was previously operated by Schmidt Futures. Historic Schmidt Futures activities were funded by diverse types of charitable and non-charitable capital to achieve impact.

The Virtual Center for Advanced Potential (VCAP) was established to support interdisciplinary research focused on identifying, nurturing, and developing talent globally. The primary objective was to address the imbalance where talent is broadly distributed, but opportunities are not, with a specific emphasis on overlooked and underrepresented communities. The program successfully created a comprehensive database of 400+ talent researchers from 60 countries and formed an advisory group of 12 renowned leaders in talent research. In the field of talent identification research, the program funded over 10 impactful projects and launched the VCAP Fast Grants Initiative, efficiently disbursing funds to the Mercatus Center and collaborating with experts to establish operational protocols for fast grants in STEM talent development.

Today, VCAP’s work continues at the Digital Harbor Foundation, where the program will engage with its network of 400+ global researchers to find and support partnerships across the science of talent.

Benefits Access

This program was previously operated by Schmidt Futures. Historic Schmidt Futures activities were funded by diverse types of charitable and non-charitable capital to achieve impact.

About Benefits Access:

Benefits Access set out to promote shared prosperity by increasing the accessibility of U.S. government social safety net benefits (e.g. SNAP food support, housing assistance, child care), enabled by the internet, especially to marginalized populations. In 2022 the program and a group of philanthropic partners launched the Social Safety Net Product Studio to accelerate innovation and open access to over $100 million in safety net benefits for low-income people across the country.

Today, the Product Studio is an independent organization that continues to drive forward this mission. The Studio continues to support the prototyping, testing, and scaling of emerging technologies that improve access and equity in government service delivery. The Studio also convenes a network of cross-sector stakeholders in the social safety net ecosystem to drive structural improvements in economic mobility.

Ex/Ante

ex/ante is the first venture fund dedicated to agentic technology, or tools that support human agency by increasing privacy, security, and information integrity.

Opportunity Engines

This program was previously operated by Schmidt Futures. Historic Schmidt Futures activities were funded by diverse types of charitable and non-charitable capital to achieve impact.

Opportunity Engines (OE) mobilized talent with innovative uses of technology to help job-training initiatives that place workers into family-sustaining jobs. A key initiative of Opportunity Engines was the Workforce Training Accelerator, which supported grantees in the development of innovative, replicable, and technical products to expand the scale of workforce training initiatives. Opportunity Engines aimed to generate $150M in aggregate wage gains for over 25,000 low-income job seekers. The program also convened a task force of grantee CEOs to recommend ways the policy and philanthropy communities can better support innovation and efficacy in launching careers for non-college-educated talent.

Today, the work of Opportunity Engines continues at GitLab Foundation, with a focus on fostering applications of AI to advance economic opportunity for individuals working below a living wage. This work includes convening an ongoing virtual roundtable of workforce AI funder professionals to up-level the philanthropy community on AI and to surface multi-funder collaboration opportunities.