Quadrivium

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Intro

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Quadrivium invests in evidence-based solutions to some of society’s most urgent challenges – where the decisions we make today have major repercussions for our future way of life.

 

Our Approach

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We look for initiatives that address the root causes of problems and where single actions can create multiple positive outcomes. We prioritize the potential for lasting impact over safe bets. And we seek opportunities where our investment or leadership will make a real difference.

The Foundation currently has five main focus areas, with many topics being interrelated:

Democracy, Technology and Society, Scientific Understanding, Climate Change and Ocean Health

Focus Areas

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FOCUS AREAS

Democracy

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A strong democracy is the foundation for progress on every issue that we care about.

Quadrivium is working to restore the health of our US democracy at a time of increasing polarization and dysfunction within the system. Through our strategic investment in Unite America, we are helping to build capacity and strengthen coordination within the democracy reform movement, so that it can be more effective and achieve the required scale. Read more about this work here.

Among our areas of engagement, we focus on achieving structural reforms, increasing voter participation and aligning incentives for leadership. Here are just some the groups we are supporting through the Foundation:

Working with Represent US and others, we support ballot initiatives that insist on bipartisan redistricting committees and automatic voter registration; we are exploring Ranked Choice Voting as an electoral reform in which the candidate supported by the majority wins.

By turning the internet into an onramp for voting, Democracy Works is on course to reach its national goal of achieving 80% voter turnout; while vote.org is working to make voting a lifelong habit among the youngest in our electorate. We also support the work of Voting Rights Lab to enact pro-voter policies and prevent voter suppression within state legislatures.

In addition, we are focused on developing the pipeline of leaders who put country over party – from recruitment and training through to legislating. Millennial Action Project brings together bipartisan caucuses in US Congress and state legislatures to forge common ground on key issues facing America’s next generation -- including democracy reform.

 

Technology and Society

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Digital technologies that connect and empower people can be weaponized to weaken and harm liberal societies.

We are seeking to defend against authoritarian governments’ use of technology to polarize and distort the politics of democratic societies, and simultaneously strengthen their own.  With the Center for a New American Security, we initiated a project, “Countering High-Tech Illiberalism” to craft effective, practical, actionable, and ambitious policies, domestically and abroad. Read about our program here.

Like many Americans, we have become concerned that political extremism online has been allowed to morph into something worse. ADL is a pioneer in defending against cyber hate and its effects on society.

In addition, we are focused on the future of work and how to best prepare people for change without leaving whole communities behind. We were early supporters of code.org and its vision of changing school curriculum to reflect new technical realities and have been pleased with how successfully the program has spread across the US.

Scientific Understanding

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Scientific understanding allows us to correctly consider the many decisions that are critical to our lives.

All too often, that understanding is left to others until a time of crisis. Seeking to address the root cause of public misunderstanding of science from climate change to vaccines, we set up an organization called SciLine in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to bring scientific expertise and context to journalists on deadline. SciLine creates fact sheets on topical news and helps journalists, especially those without scientific backgrounds, to connect with relevant experts, interpret announcements and understand the bigger picture.

Climate Change

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Climate Change threatens the security and stability of our country and our world.

We need urgent action on this issue — action that also drives innovation and investment. We recognize that communications around this threat have been politicized and we are working with organizations that are capable of reaching a majority of the public, regardless of country or political tribe.

Quadrivium supports the bipartisan passage of a US climate strategy that doubles as an economic growth strategy. We believe it is long past time for Republicans to have a plan to combat climate change and the Carbon Rebate plan from the Climate Leadership Council is poised to be just that. With Republican leaders and Nobel Prize winning economists signed on, now it needs to build overwhelming support in Congress.

We also support EDF’s work on carbon markets in India and China as well as the methane capture program in the US -- programs at home and abroad that measurably bend the curve on carbon emissions today. 

Through our investment in Climate Central, we are helping to expand the successful Climate Matters program which uses meteorologists as trusted messengers of the links between extreme weather and climate change.

Ocean Health

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Proven solutions for overfishing can help people and nature thrive.

Over three billion people depend on fish as their main source of protein. Warming and acidifying seas, overfishing and pollution all threaten biodiversity and food security around the world. EDF has shown how solving the overfishing problem through catch shares can make communities and oceans more resilient to climate change and pollution.