The Center for Mind and Culture (CMAC) is a non-profit research center that innovates creative solutions for urgent social problems arising within complex networks of evolving minds in dynamic cultures. Committed to a radically interdisciplinary, non-partisan approach, centered on computational and data sciences, CMAC mobilizes an international network of experts to develop and disseminate visionary insights to public and professional stakeholders.

CMAC’s theory of change

The complex adaptive system of minds in cultures produces unintended consequences, like high rates of suicide in rural areas or the exploitation of children in the commercial sex industry. Though CMAC doesn’t specialize in suicide or trafficking, we tackle these kinds of social issues.

Our theory of change is that we can offer innovative solutions by bringing together experts and applying computing and data-science methods to complex social systems.

We use computing and data science to analyze real-world problems and study the impact of potential solutions. This allows us to investigate the system, run cost-benefit analyses on existing policies and potential new interventions, and discover the system’s hidden change-levers. These methods are commonly used in science and engineering fields, but when we pair them with the humanities and an understanding of social issues, we have a unique opportunity to pave a new way forward.

At our core, CMAC values:

  • Adventurously multidisciplinary research that bridges methodological and philosophical gap between the sciences, the humanities, and the professional arts
  • Ethical evaluation in every step of our research, from building collaborative teams, to implementing cutting-edge analytic methods, to responsibly sharing insights
  • Fostering productive conversations with changemakers and subject-matter experts to inform decisions and guide opportunities for change
  • Upholding the highest intellectual and professional standards at all times

We believe that:

  • Creative solutions to complex problems are uncovered by studying the mind-culture nexus
  • Innovative tools have the power to drive equitable policy solutions, supporting lasting change
  • Facilitating respectful spaces for thoughtful and creative discussion can multiply knowledge and drive effective approaches to policymaking and prosocial intervention
  • Perspectives from every member of our teams and from the stakeholders we engage with deepen our understanding of the problems we confront



CMAC coordinating and collaborating across disciplines, with diverse perspectives, and around the world. This involves:

  • conducting research and connecting with subject matter experts in fields related to our research
  • sponsoring the research efforts of others
  • coordinating international projects to achieve large sample sizes & register cultural differences
  • working across multiple disciplines to produce sophisticated and sensitive interpretations


CMAC provides an institutional locus for sponsoring students, training postdoctoral fellows and supporting veteran researchers. This involves:

  • providing established investigators with the necessary resources
  • offering fellowships for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows
  • introducing undergraduate and graduate students to the research tasks
  • establishing and nurturing affiliations with universities


CMAC disseminates knowledge about the mind-culture nexus and connects a network of academic experts to the organizations that need them. This involves:

    • producing technical working papers and policy recommendations
    • communicating the significance of research efforts
    • launching new publications
    • developing curriculum materials for related course work
    • sponsoring colloquia, seminars, working groups and public lectures

CMAC on the Move:

Presented in July, 2020.