The Center for Public Interest Communications, the first of its kind in the nation, is designed to study, test and apply the science of strategic communication for social change.
The Center assists organizations around the world discover how behavioral, cognitive and social science can unveil insights into how people think, make decisions and behave. Through the use of science, systems thinking and human-centered design, the Center helps organizations create and implement powerful communication strategies.
In support of evidence-based communication, the Center provides training to government agencies, universities, foundations, public interest communications agencies and nonprofits.
The Center develops workshops to share research with social change leaders and scientists to help them develop better communication strategies, and it organizes frank: the gathering for people who change the world, an annual conference dedicated to public interest communications.
The Center is an educational business activity and auxiliary of the University of Florida. As such, all operating costs for the Center and its faculty and staff personnel are raised through partnerships, service agreements, grants and gifts. We receive no funding from the University of Florida, our home college or the State of Florida, unless one of those parties engages us via a service agreement.
How we select partners and projects
The Center team has developed a guide for the team’s discussions on new projects and service agreements. In addition to the evaluating feasibility of project scope within timelines, available resources and our areas of knowledge, we evaluate projects through the following prisms:
- Is the project working in the public’s interest? (Transcending the interests of or benefit to any one individual, political party, group, corporate body or organization.)
- Does the project advance justice, equity, public health or sustainability?
- Is the objective supported by science?
- Does the project fit into the mission of our land-grant institution? (“Championing ideas that drive the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge to solve the most vexing challenges of our country and region” and committed to ensuring the freedom for people to have “access to the education and opportunity necessary to shape their own destinies,” as outlined by the Association of Public Land Grant Universities.)
- Does the project align with one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all member nations in 2015?
The Center team would like to recognize that our headquarters, the University of Florida Gainesville campus, is located in the ancestral territory of the Potano, Timucua and Seminole people. The University of Florida is a land-grant institution, which directly benefited from the appropriation of land and resources of indigenous people across the North American continent.
We are also cognizant that we cannot separate the history of our university or our community from the history of colonialism and slavery in the United States.
As we continue to work toward justice, equity, opportunity and access for all we express our gratitude and appreciation to those whose historic territory we reside on and those whose forebears were not able to enjoy the same unalienable rights—that all are created equal and are endowed with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—outlined in the Declaration of Independence which launched our nation.