Research & Discernment on Economics, Ecology & Public Policy for the Common Good

“The Society of Friends has a great intellectual task ahead of it… [this] task is spiritual as well as intellectual, in the sense that it involves not merely abstract knowledge, but love and community…. The search …. today is for a human identity which will permit [ humanity] to live in peace …. the true world community for which we all long. In the establishment of this world community the Society of Friends has a great pioneering work to do.”
– Kenneth Boulding, “The Evolutionary Potential of Quakerism”, Backhouse Memorial Lecture, Australia Yearly Meeting, 1965


QIF envisions a global future in which humanity is in right relationship with the commonwealth of life.

The mission of QIF is to advance a global future of inclusion, social and economic justice, and ecological well being through participatory research and discernment.

QIF adds a Quaker voice to public discourse. It calls on Quaker experience and approaches that contribute to the advance of governance for the common good, and the promotion of values necessary for social and ecological well-being. Underpinned by coherent and systemic analysis that supports strategic intervention and social action, QIF shares its work in various forms, including books, pamphlets, reports, newsletters, website, conferences, workshops and seminars.

Our concern is global – as well as local.

We see inclusion as people having secure and equitable access to the decision-making processes that affect their lives and the common good of their environments.

We see social and economic justice as people having secure and equitable access to the means of life, and to the opportunity for making a contribution to their communities.

We see ecological well-being as the resilience of a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship and the continuous renewal of the whole commonwealth of life.

We see participatory research and discernment as essential for creating the social and ecological wisdom that advances the common good.

Focus of Our Concern

- The emergence of complex global interdependence and its demands on governance systems and citizens responsibilities;
- Economic behavior that increasingly disrupts and degrades the ecological process on which life depends;
- The development of technologies that hold us responsible for the future of humanity and the Earth;
- Conflict and violence arising from the pressures of change, increasing inequity, concentrations of power, and militarism;
- The separation of people into geographic regions of poverty and wealth, into social domains of deprivation and affluence, and into ethnic and racial marginalization;
- The prevailing philosophy of aggressive individualism and its promotion as the principle means for achievement of the common good;
- The convergence of ecological, economic, and social breakdown, and the coming pressures for strategic adaptation.

In today’s complex world we cannot, as individuals, know the full significance of our decisions in relation to the trajectories of change. We rely on sources dedicated to understanding and interpreting the fuller meaning of our actions by setting them within a larger narrative of historical change.

QIF aims to nurture a spiritually sensitive interpretation of the historical change narrative in order to give deeper significance to specific acts of Quaker witness, and, at the same time, contribute a distinctive Quaker voice to the larger public dialogue.

Structure & Governance

QIF is incorporated in the State of California as a non-profit, scientific and educational organization. The Institute is directed by a Board of Trustees.

The Institute, at present, is a network organization. Projects arise from the initiatives of both associates and the Board of Trustees. The Board maintains a Research Committee, a Publication Committee, and an Executive Committee.

Executive Committee: Charlie Blanchard and Gray Cox, Co-Clerks; Keith Helmuth, Secretary; Laura Holiday, Recording Clerk.

Contact QIF

For further information contact Charlie Blanchard at clb_home@pacbell.net or Gray Cox at gcox@coa.edu or Keith Helmuth at keithhelmuth@gmail.com.

Financial support for QIF can be sent to Quaker Institute for the Future, 526 Cornell Ave., Albany, CA 94706. Donations can also be made directly by using the DONATE button on this website. A tax deductible receipt will be provided.

For technical problems with the website, please contact the webkeeper at qif.web@gmail.com. Please do not send project proposals, requests for participation or assistance, resumes, etc. to the webkeeper.