What are the core values that ground our work?

Periods of deep uncertainty and rapid change can cause a sense of disorientation and confusion, rendering us unsure of what to do. Core values have the ability to ground us during periods of turmoil, and can help guide us in our journey to build better systems.

In California today, many institutions ranging from corporations and government agencies, to community organizations and philanthropies, have committed to core values and priorities like community inclusion, sustainability, and equity. In addition, the disruptions and trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and various natural and human-caused disasters have underscored the importance of resilience for many communities. Finally, California also conceives of itself as a global leader in innovation, with respect to science and technology, and also with respect to its creative activities and methods of governance.

In keeping with the aspirational nature of our work, the California 100 team chose to lay out its core values in five simple words, whose acronym spells “I RISE.” We define our core values as follows:

  • Innovation that improves private and public sector operations across various domains;
  • Resilience that enables communities to bounce back from a range of natural and human-caused disasters;
  • Inclusion that deepens community involvement in identifying and implementing
  • solutions;
  • Sustainability that promotes health and well-being over multiple generations, and
  • Equity that ensures justice in the allocation of resources and life chances.

In addition to our general commitments to inclusion and equity, we remain inspired by social movements that continue to fight for full inclusion, including those who are immigrants or refugees, are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, are currently or formerly incarcerated, have a disability, or are a part of Indigenous, Black and other marginalized communities.

These core values, and associated explanations, were part of the initial request for research proposals that California 100 sent out prior to the public launch of the initiative, and they remain essential to the work that California 100 continues to do–from its public engagement and visioning work, to its work on advanced technology and its demonstration projects in policy innovation.