Society is rapidly evolving beyond organizations and into networks aiming to solve real-world problems.

We are a highly cooperative species, and yet we often struggle to work together and learn together, even toward projects that we care deeply about.

To resolve this cooperation paradox, Prosocial Schools applies a scientific understanding of human behavior within and between school communities to increase their capacity to ideate, share and evolve solutions to improvement problems that matter to them.


The unique strength of Prosocial is its strong theoretical and empirical basis informed by three major scientific fields: contextual behavioral science, the political and economic science of collective action, and evolutionary science. This trans-disciplinary nature makes Prosocial "domain general." In fact, we predict that the core design principles ("CDP") documented by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom are needed by all groups, in any effort, and any context where members must cooperate to achieve shared goals.

In the context of school improvement, we then pair Prosocial with a model developed by the Carnegie Foundation called a Networked Improvement Community ("NIC"). NICs are collaborations of many educators, students, and researchers that work together on a common goal through a coordinated and distributed investigation. The NIC model goes beyond networking by applying the flexible rigor of improvement science. Learn more below.

By joining our free network, members receive an introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning science behind Prosocial as we explore practical tools for both initiating and sustaining NICs. Our network encourages and supports applied research as well.

By design, these tools also support school culture and equity improvement problems at a systemic level.


Join Our Network

Currently we use a web-based platform called Ning to organize all of our NIC resources, including global network meetings by geographic region. The Ning platform and our network are free to join and participate in.