Stanford PACS in China

Stanford PACS in China

Stanford PACS’ China program shares information and ideas to support and build the social impact sector in China. Aligned with Stanford PACS goals, we aim to expand research on philanthropy and social innovation in China; increase the pipeline of scholars, practitioners, and leaders for the Chinese social sector; advance and improve the practice of philanthropy and social innovation in China.

Stanford PACS in China

Stanford PACS is an original anchor program of the Stanford Center at Peking University, taking our work on philanthropy and social innovation to strengthen civil society globally.

Stanford PACS-PKU serves Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and nonprofit and foundation practitioners visiting or conducting research in China. In addition to an annual conference and series of workshops held at PKU each spring, Stanford PACS also conducts China-focused research, hosts China-focused post doctoral fellows and provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in cross-cultural exchange, and works with The Leping Foundation to produce a Chinese language version of Stanford Social Innovation Review. Stanford PACS hosts the “Rendering Civic Action in China” research and digital archive of Chinese NGOs. Additionally, through the Civil Life of Cities Lab, we are focused on research in Shenzhen, China.

Since 2012, Stanford PACS has hosted an annual conference at SCPKU. The conference serves as a platform for knowledge sharing among scholars, philanthropists, founders and social sector practitioners from the US and China, and provides an opportunity for Stanford PACS to engage with the local philanthropic community in Beijing.


The Stanford Center at Peking University underscores a long-term partnership between Stanford and Peking University. Stanford’s relationship with China stretches back to the late 1970s, when the university began accepting Chinese graduate students. Students from China have accounted for a large portion of Stanford’s foreign graduate students for many years. Stanford’s relationship with Peking University also has grown over the past several decades from an initial collaboration between the schools’ Asian language departments to a wide range of joint research and courses, faculty and student exchanges, and conferences. In 2004, Stanford’s study abroad and internship programs began at Peking University, and there have been a growing number of other collaborations between PKU and Stanford programs including the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Recognizing the potential for a Stanford presence at PKU more than a decade ago, President Emeritus Gerhard Casper proposed a formal relationship with PKU that resulted in the creation of numerous academic exchanges between the two campuses. This relationship was taken to the next level with President John Hennessy’s vision of global outreach for Stanford and a multi-year effort led by Professors Jean Oi and Andrew Walder. This effort forged the necessary partnerships with both the PKU leadership and Stanford donors to establish a presence in China and to connect into the intellectual assets of Stanford and Silicon Valley to encourage mutual understanding. 

Current Stanford PACS Activities and Research in China

Stanford Social Innovation Review Chinese Edition

SSIR is pleased to partner with the Leping Foundation to produce a translated edition of our quarterly print magazine. The SSIR Chinese-language edition is dedicated to advancing and educating the growing social-innovation sector in China.


Stanford Social Innovation Review in Chinese

Recording Civic Action in China

A growing digital collection of archived websites and social media of selected Chinese grassroots non-government organizations, including 200 NGOs going back to 2015. The website, hosted at Stanford’s East Asian Library, includes a bibliography of scholarly works on Chinese NGOs and emerging civil society published in the past 30 years and a timeline of critical milestone event in the history of Chinese grassroots NGO development.

Recording Civic Action in China

Civic Life of Cities Lab - Shenzhen

Comparative cross-city research to learn about the local experiences of global trends influencing the nonprofit sector, such as social impact measurement and organizational transparency, and to learn about the consequences of civic associational life for the vitality of urban areas.

Civic Life of Cities Lab