About the Pardee Center

The RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition was established in 2001 through a generous $5 million pledge from RAND alumnus Frederick S. Pardee. The RAND Pardee Center aims to enhance the overall future quality and condition of human life by aggressively disseminating and applying new methods for long-term policy analysis in a wide variety of policy areas where they are needed most.

The pledge for this Center is consistent with the donor's longtime commitment to philanthropy. Mr. Pardee's vision of investing today to enhance the quality of life tomorrow was supported by an equally ardent belief that progress in this endeavor will come only with serious, sustained effort. There has been no dearth of attempts to think globally about the human condition or the long-range future. What has been missing, however, is a means of tying those efforts systematically and analytically to today's policy decisions. This is the gap that the RAND Pardee Center seeks to address.

Our Vision

We live at a time of rapid, transformative change. While our society has significant ability to shape the future to our liking, we often act as poor stewards of the future human condition. Too often we make decisions overly focused on the short-term, missing promising and much-needed opportunities to improve our long-term prospects.

Over the last several years, a large body of research in the policy and decision sciences has coalesced into a new set of methods and tools that can help decision-makers more effectively and systematically identify where and how our society can successfully approach our long-term goals consistent with the needs of the present. At a time when the need for effective long-term policy seems particularly pressing, our capability for long-term analysis has significantly improved. But to help our society become better stewards of the long-term, these new approaches must become much more widely used.

As a central concept the Center helps policymakers and the public practice proper due diligence for the long-term future. In many cases, our long-term goals may have little influence on our choice of near-term actions. Given today's opportunities, constraints, uncertainty, competing values, and the fact that future generations will make their own choices, merely meeting our near-term goals may frequently provide sufficient stewardship for the long-term. But in some cases, choosing one set of near-term actions over another may prove decisive to humanity's long-term future condition.

Many factors discourage effective due diligence, from people's psychological tendency to misestimate novel risks to political and institutional pressures that favor short-term results. Long-term policy analysis, however, can help overcome these barriers by identifying these key actions, communicating their importance to diverse audiences, and suggesting the policies and incentives needed to encourage these actions and sustain them over time. The Pardee Center has played an important role in advancing the state of the art for such long-term analysis and is now working to play a central role in disseminating these tools into widespread practice.

The Pardee Center organizes its activities around two main themes:

  1. Conducting long-term policy analysis that helps organizations implement better long-range policy and
  2. Developing and disseminating approaches that will help make proper due diligence for the future more commonly practiced.

The Center focuses its core funds on crystallizing key concepts with small amounts of targeted research, on disseminating the Center's findings, and on seeding projects to improve long-term policy in specific policy areas. Additional funding and partnering with RAND's research divisions enables us to undertake projects to improve long-term policy in areas such as development, energy/environment, public goods, governance/international institutions, and globalization. Applying the due diligence concept helps us target early efforts where long-term policy analysis may have the largest impact. Most of our client projects are conducted in partnership with other RAND divisions, other research institutions, and policymaking partners. These core activities contribute to ongoing methodology development at RAND.

Over the years, the Center’s success can be measured by the extent to which its studies help inform specific long-term policies in areas such as development and the extent to which due diligence for the future becomes a widely known concept.

The Donor's Vision

Frederick Pardee ardently believed that enhancing the quality of life for future generations on a global level requires an immediate, serious, and dedicated effort to chart new ground. Mr. Pardee first became involved with long-range technological and economic projections, quality-of-life issues, and their policy implications while working as a RAND systems analyst from 1957 to 1971. He pledged $5 million toward the establishment of The RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition, as well as the Frederick S. Pardee Professorship of Long-Term Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Our Director

Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at RAND and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on climate risk management and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty. Dr. Lempert was a coordinating lead author for Working Group II of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report and the inaugural president of the Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty. A Professor of Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Dr. Lempert is an author of the book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Longer-Term Policy Analysis.