Knology

Practical social science for a better world

aka Knology   |   New York, NY   |  https://knology.org/

Mission

Knology is a collective of scientists, writers, and educators dedicated to studying and untangling complex social issues. Equity, transparency, and deliberation are the foundation of our work process. We recognize that no issue exists in isolation from its social and environmental context. Our research is embedded in real-world application to develop practical approaches to thorny problems. We are committed to serving the public good by sharing our data and clearly reporting our results.

Ruling year info

2013

President & CEO

Dr. John Fraser

Main address

40 Exchange Place Suite 1403

New York, NY 10005 USA

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Formerly known as

New Knowledge Organization Ltd.

EIN

45-4393574

NTEE code info

Social Science Research Institutes, Services (V20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our 501(c)(3) empowers change-makers with interdisciplinary social science research so they can build capacity to meet their missions, develop effective paths to the grand challenges that face society, and assess their impact in order to improve their efficiencies. We recognize that many organizations working to solve grand social problems tend to under-use social science research that can point the way to a solution. At present, the university system and for-profit models are often too expensive and lack the nimble quality of a non-profit team that can support social change agents. Our model overcomes these limitations through an embedded partnership model, working to scaffold skills and academic rigor within their current programs. We undertake independent research and publish in order to help all members of our sector with new theoretical models through data sharing and analysis.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Biosphere

We study the multifaceted relationships among humans, nature, and animals, and how those connections can be leveraged towards shared wellbeing. Our work recognizes the complex socio-ecological systems that frame society’s interaction with all forms of nature and the environment, whether they are considered natural, social, or built. We are interested in learning how all parts of our society engage with nature in culturally meaningful ways. With this approach, we hope to empower people to address seemingly intractable environmental and social challenges. A humanistic approach is the foundation of our inquiry into humanity’s connection with the biosphere. When we think of the Biosphere, we ask: What are ways in which environmental protection and human wellbeing are mutually beneficial? What role do people’s cultural backgrounds play in their relationship to nature? How do different groups collaborate to impact themselves and nature positively?

Population(s) Served
Adults

Knology approaches culture as a way of understanding the world, interpreting reality, and communicating that reality to others. We share ways of being that are constantly expanding – through shared perceptions, beliefs, language, and actions. We study how culture shapes the standards that define our scope of justice, the systems that govern how people can thrive, and societal codes of conduct. We explore how cultures are the expression of shared cumulative meaning or significance. At the same time, we appreciate how culture has a context-specific practice or form of participation that evolves as it grapples with change. When we think of Culture, we ask: How can exploration of cultural participation and practices advance positive social change? How can cultural institutions support a thriving society?
In 2015, NewKnowledge partnered with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York (GSGNY) and Vidcode to work on this opportunity. We are studying a novel afterschool program, called Breaking the Code, that combines creative filmmaking, coding in JavaScript, and Girl Scout-style leadership development, including mentoring from computer science professionals.This program, aimed at middle school girls enrolled in under-resourced schools in New York City, uses original art projects, such as customizing Instagram or music videos, to engage teens in writing their own code using the online Vidcode platform. Ultimately, we aim to understand how combining video coding projects with leadership development and mentoring helps girls to develop the skills and confidence to apply pursue opportunities in the real world.

Breaking the Code has made an impact for New York City teens.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We approach wellness from a holistic perspective, examining all aspects of health from the personal to the societal to the institutional, and how these realms intersect. Our research explores the major factors that influence health attitudes, behaviors, and policies. To do so, we work with museums, medical centers, libraries, community health and social justice organizations to support self-efficacy. We are particularly interested in the processes and intermediaries that can be leveraged to bring about wellbeing. When we think of Wellness, we ask: what aspects of health, from the personal to the societal, to the institutional influence individuals’ opportunities to thrive? How does understanding grow around personal choices that we make in life to ensure both longevity and physical well-being?

Population(s) Served
Adults

Knology takes a broad and inclusive approach to media: we study many aspects of large-scale communication, including diverse technologies, channels, and platforms. One of the things we investigate is the affordances of these technologies and channels, particularly for education and lifelong learning. We also explore how media shapes public discourse: how particular ideas come to be seen as normal and reasonable—or not—due to their presence or absence in mass media. We reflect on circulation and participation, too: how different media content moves through the world, and whether those who engage with it are invited to respond and interact or simply to consume it. When we think of Media, we ask: What role can – and should – media play in challenging social narratives about people? What makes media effective at getting large groups of people to take action? What are the most effective ways to capture – and hold – the attention of different groups of people in order to support their learning and their access to learning?

Population(s) Served
Adults

We often talk about large-scale outcomes, such as sustainable cities, inclusive cultural institutions, accessible media, and more. These outcomes emerge from many repeated interactions among individuals. Such iterated behaviors are often subtle, rarely linear, and never inevitable. At Knology, we study the behaviors, mechanisms, and processes that generate widespread social outcomes. When we think of behaviors, we ask: Who are the people interacting, including their characteristics as persons, their relationships and obligations to each other, and their histories? How do people's choices enable or preclude future choices, shape their values, and reinforce or interrupt behaviors? At what point do repeated interactions between individuals recognize themselves as a community, with shared goals and practices, to which they are willing to hold one another accountable?

Population(s) Served
Adults

We approach systems as sets of interrelated rules and practices within which each individual’s life and life plan is embedded. These systems are nonetheless built, sustained, and reproduced by individuals over time, often acting in concert. As the operations and effects of systems are often public and powerful constraints on individuals, they are exquisitely subject to comparison against notions of justice, fairness, or equity. When we think of Systems, we ask: What are the formal and informal rules that govern, or help us to make sense of, the law, economy, society, and polity? Which rules promote or inhibit human well-being and flourishing? Under what circumstances do these rules change?

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of organizational partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each year, Knology has around the same number of partners. Knology works on multiple projects with some partners, such as WETA (PBS NewsHour), and the National Science Foundation.

Number of donations made by board members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2016, 7/8 board members gave. In 2017, 8/9 board members gave. In 2018, 10/10 board members gave. In 2019, 10/10 board members gave (100%). In 2020, 100% of board members gave.

Number of new grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each year, about 40% of our projects are new grants.

Number of grants and research funding awarded to the institution

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Knology continues to grow with an increase in number of grants and research projects awarded to the institution increasing each year.

Number of reports written/published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We seek to empower change-makers with interdisciplinary social science research so they can create a society where all people live to their greatest potential in harmony with a thriving biosphere. We accomplish this objective through the study four phenomena to build shared understanding of how people learn about and are motivated to solve society’s grand challenges. We study paths to individual and community wellness, how to support a healthy biosphere, and how media and cultural organizations contribute to a just society. Consistent with the principles of a strong democracy, we promote public dialogue and action through collaboration, transparency in our process, and open access to the results of our work.

Our strategic plan has five goals:

Goal 1. Be Critical Thinkers
Challenge the status quo by analyzing and reconstructing pathways to navigate the great social challenges of our time.

Goal 2. Inform & Shape Action
Equip leaders through compelling social science research stories, to support evidence-based decisions and improved action for a better world.

Goal 3. Embody DEAI
Strive to integrate and personify principles and practices of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in our workforce, workplace, and work community.

Goal 4. Strengthen Alliances
Invest in people and organizations working toward a common good by developing ideas, resources, and game-changing partnerships.

Goal 5. Refine Our Model
Cultivate our collaborative work philosophy -- including internal operations, fiscal stability, and work processes -- to make our non-profit model resilient and replicable.

We have an interdisciplinary team of fifteen researchers drawing from skills including psychology, sociology, human rights, education, anthropology, linguistics and political science, of which six have PhD’s supported by an additional sixteen research fellows who work on an initiative basis. Working from two offices (New York, and California), we are partnering with major national social change organizations such as PBS NewsHour, the American Library Association, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Association of Children’s Museums as partners helping bring research into capacity building and applying data to improve their social objectives. Our non-profit partners include serving as a research support group for National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) to help them use theory-based strategies for helping understand the national landscape of financial education (NEFE) and making the world a safer place (UL).

Since founding in 2012, we have developed an annual portfolio of over fifty projects each year, with 50% of our work based on multi-year research engagements with long-term outcomes and goals. Through this process, we have expanded our work to use evaluation methods to support strategic design and monitoring for social change strategies that involve multi-stakeholder efforts across the four pillars. Since founding, we have maintained an average of over 20% growth in each year of operations.
Our goals for the coming five years focus on growth in our publications, communications, and library functions to help social change groups build on our success. This commitment to open data and transparent process includes fostering professional development programs and tools that help early career professionals develop leadership capacity.

Financials

Knology
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Knology

Board of directors
as of 2/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Leonard Singh

Consolidated Edison Company of NY

Term: 2018 - 2021


Board co-chair

Carolyn Grey

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Term: 2018 - 2021

Jenna Hayes

League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes

Adam Wasserman

New York Stock Exchange

Julia Mair

Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network (HITN) & JMA Entertainment LLC.

Kashif Akhter

SOHO Rep; Board Match New York; Reach The World

Robert Davis

America’s Black Holocaust Museum

Manoj Panjwani

Columbia University’s School of Professional Services

Greg Parets

Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith

Suzanne Salomon

Domestic and International Impact Investor/Advisor

Anna Soubbotina

Charles River Associates International, Inc.

Batool Hussain

SAP

Evangelos Perros

Apollo Global Management Inc.

Jack Sanderson

Development Consulting

Jeanne Achille

The Devon Group LLC

Thomas Graham

Semnos Partners.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/04/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/18/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.