Startup Directory

OpEd Project

The OpEd Project, founded by Katie Orenstein ’95SIPA, is a think tank and leadership organization that changes history by accelerating the ideas and public impact of underrepresented voices, including women.

From the Founder:

The range of voices we hear from in the world is incredibly narrow – and comes from a tiny sliver of the world’s population: mostly western, white, older, privileged and overwhelmingly (85%) male.  Which means we’re hearing from only a small fraction of the world’s brains.  That’s a big problem for women and for all of us who aren’t being represented – our stories and ideas and perspectives are not being told (sometimes with life and death consequences).  But it also suggests a tremendous opportunity for everyone:  what would be the return to society if we could harness all that brain power?

The vision of the Project is that we would have a much smarter, richer, and more ethical world if more people had a voice in the important conversations of our age.  What if we could benefit from all the best ideas and brains out there?   To offer an analogy: if I were in the finance world, I might say that we have a portfolio called Public Intelligence, and we are surveying the landscape, looking for undiscovered assets for that portfolio  –   all the brains out there that we aren’t hearing from.   Women’s ideas are one of those undercapitalized assets.   But there are other voices – underrepresented voices and brains of all kinds – that we could and should invest in as well. (Read more here).

Want to experience The OpEd Project? The organization runs a wide range of dynamic, interactive programs that range in length from a few hours to a year or more. The organization offers day-long “Write To Change The World” workshops that are open to everyone, regardless of means, in a rotation of major U.S. cities. The day is interactive, electric, and designed to produce concrete results–the most common word in feedback forms is “transformational.” Everyone who participates also receives access to journalist mentors for individual follow up. In addition, The OpEd Project collaborates with a core group of major institutions (including Columbia) on its Public Voices Fellowship initiative, which seeks to change history by accelerating the ideas and impact of underrepresented experts at the top of their fields.

Check out upcoming programs here: