Our Mission, Vision, and Values


Our Vision

To create a world where all young people are valued and thrive.

Our Mission

To provide catalytic leadership, breakthrough knowledge, and innovative resources to advance the health of children, youth, families, and communities.

We Believe . . .

All children and adolescents need and deserve the range of “developmental nutrients” identified in the framework of Developmental Assets.

“All children and adolescents” includes children and adolescents of all races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities.

Significant community and societal change is needed to ensure the equitable spread of Developmental Assets; the five action strategies we have identified can bring about this change.

All communities have the talent, wisdom, and expertise to create thriving communities.

Developmental Assets have many sources, including adult influence, peer influence, families, neighborhoods, congregations, schools, and youth organizations.

These resources, individually and in combination, can be powerfully mobilized at the local, community level.

The community and social change needed to reach our vision requires major transformation of how we see, know, and relate with children and adolescents.

Children and adolescents are particularly powerful agents of change and should be positioned as leaders in transforming community and society.

The prime actors in this transformation are all people: children, adolescents, and adults.

Search Institute’s role is to provide knowledge and resources to help them create an environment that supports young people.

We Value . . .

Walking Our Talk as Asset Builders
We recognize, value, and celebrate the gifts of all people; seek to involve young people in our work; appreciate diversity; and cultivate positive relationships within Search Institute and with external audiences, constituencies, and customers. We seek to be a family-friendly organization and strive toward an infrastructure that supports our stated values.

Collaborative Relationships
We work with and learn from others involved in asset building and developmentally attentive communities. We authentically share with the field the roles of experts, leaders, and learners, and seek collaboration with internal and external groups. We intentionally seek to engage collaborators from across political, ideological, religious, cultural, and other differences, believing that active engagement with others—even when we do not agree on important issues—is critical for creating a sense of the common good and for working for positive community and social change.

We seek to do what is right and treat others with honesty, respect, and dignity. We make clear when we know something and when we believe something—and communicate both.

Multiple Ways of Learning and Knowing
We seek to be open to new approaches to learning and sharing what we learn. We use common sense, solid theory, and validated constructs as means of learning, and we celebrate the creative tension between research and application.

Effective Decision Making and Open Communication
We strive to make thoughtful, timely decisions, involving the right people and sharing the results of decisions in a timely manner. We can agree to disagree, step aside, and support the decision. We seek to learn from our mistakes and are not afraid to make them.

Research as a Means, Not an End
We share learning internally and externally and strive to develop user-friendly tools. We unleash creative application of our ideas and research.

Balancing Mission and Margin
We stay true to our mission and recognize that we need money to achieve the mission. We seek to balance mission with good business decisions.

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