Alliance for the American Dream

Projects / Alliance for the American Dream

About the project
With $1.5M in funding over two years from Schmidt Futures, a venture facility founded by Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Arizona State University is one of four universities supporting ideas that seek to strengthen and grow the middle class. Through the Alliance for the American Dream, ASU, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Ohio State University and University of Utah are each working with local partners to curate ideas designed to raise the net income of 10,000 local middleclass households by 10%. In addition to the initial grant, each university is competing for up to $4m in additional funding. Project topics will vary, but will include ideas related to housing, transportation, food entrepreneurship and healthcare, among others.

ASU has enlisted the support and expertise of influential and diverse Arizonans to serve as members of our Community Advisory Board. Together, they will be responsible for rallying community support for the top ideas that emerge from the competition, connecting ASU’s idea teams to people, resources, and insights related to their proposal, and selecting the top three teams to compete at the national level.

Community Advisory Board Members

  • Amy Armstrong, Founder and President, Next Generation Philanthropists
  • Chris Camacho, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • Christine Mackay, Community and Economic Development Director, City of Phoenix 
  • Jeffrey Pruitt, CEO and Chairman, Tallwave Capital
  • Merl Waschler, President and CEO, Valley of the Sun United Way
  • Patricia Garcia Duarte, President and CEO, Trellis
  • Robin Reed, President and CEO, Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Steve Seleznow, President and CEO, AZ Community Foundation
  • Terri Wogan Calderon, Executive Director and Partner, Social Venture Partners
  • Terry Benelli, Executive Director, LISC Phoenix
  • Todd Sanders, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

UI's Role
This grant was written by UI and, for the two year duration of the grant, will be managed by the ASU Office of University Initiatives. This positioning ensures the teams and ideas that emerge have the support of more than just a single college or school and can advance bold interdisciplinary projects.

Design Aspirations
Leverage Our Place, Transform Society, Value Entrepreneurship, Fuse Intellectual Disciplines, Be Socially Embedded

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Projects / Americandream