Social Economy Policy Forecast 2013: Project on Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology


The social economy consists of the broad array of mechanisms or tools for the deployment of private resources for the public good. We identify policy issues related to the structure and operations of the social economy, with a particular eye to the issues facing charitable nonprofits and philanthropic foundations.

The first section frames each of several policy domains:

  • Governance and Accountability
  • Finance
  • Political Activity and Campaign Finance
  • Digital Infrastructure and Content, and Taxes

Within each domain we identify active policy and note whether the discussions are occurring among legislators, regulators, within industry groups or in the courts. This section serves as a map to a wide-range of pending policy decisions.

The next section gazes into the more distant future and is, therefore, more speculative. We aim here to survey the landscape for new policy ideas percolating among scholars, activists, and practitioners that are not currently on any administrative or legislative agenda, but that are worthy of discussion.

The forecast draws from the work of the Philanthropy, Policy and Technology Project (now the Digital Civil Society Lab) at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). The forecast is part of an ongoing exploration of the rise of novel mechanisms for the private financing and production of social and public goods, including the emergence of a digital civil society and the regulatory, practice, and policy options these developments bring forward.