Since our inception, innovation has been a core part of Ploughshares Fund’s quest to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. From small seed grants to early stage funding for less conventional projects, it remains a part of who we are. Over the years our investments have adapted and shifted with the times. But about five years we realized we needed to do more – more to bring in new perspectives and new voices, and more to scale up investments in the bold new ideas that might just solve the wicked problem of nuclear weapons.
Together, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ploughshares Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Skoll Global Threats Fund pooled resources to create a hub for innovation.
Initially housed and incubated at Ploughshares Fund, N Square, was established to foster security, ignite the public imagination and spark new ideas about how to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons.
Paul Carroll, the Director of Nuclear Security Partnerships at N Square, recently published an article in Giving Compass, a philanthropy knowledge hub, noting some of the promising outcomes:
- A partnership with the Norman Lear Center’s Hollywood, Health and Society program that is working to reach wider audiences through nuclear storylines in mainstream entertainment;
- A new project called Datayo that uses open-source, transparent information that anyone can access and contribute to in an effort to identify and prevent nuclear proliferation;
- A film called the Bomb, which continues to tour and immerse audiences – many of whom have little knowledge and understanding of nuclear weapons – into the raw emotion and experience of nuclear threats, and calls on them to examine their feelings and thoughts about nuclear weapons; and
- Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite – an international network of influential leaders working to unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world – afforded N Square the chance to discuss nuclear threats with its audience and begin to engage their thinking on this issue.
“We’re proud to be a founding funder, an incubator, the place where N Square was first housed,” said Ploughshares Fund Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Philip Yun. “Now that it is on its own, we’re looking forward to the many great ways in which N Square will help reduce and eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons.”
Watch this video to learn more about N Square.
Ploughshares Fund is immensely proud to have helped launch this successful venture and looks forward to supporting the innovative ideas and partnerships that emerge in the coming years.