Who We Are

Breakthrough’s vision is of a world that is good for both people and nature. We believe that human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are possible at the same time. Societies are already experiencing peak use of many natural resources; some previously destroyed forests are returning as we use less land to farm more food; our energy sources are becoming denser and cleaner; and pollution — including carbon emissions — is falling in most post-industrial nations. We believe that ecological vibrancy results from human prosperity, not the other way around. Meeting people’s material needs is both an ethical imperative and a pre-condition for societal concern about nature. Technological innovation, particularly in energy and agriculture, can enable us to both meet human needs and reduce our reliance on natural resources. And clean energy technologies are key to creating a high-energy planet without overheating the climate. Humanity has made extraordinary progress over the past several centuries. While modernization has had both positive and negative impacts, and the benefits of development have not been equally distributed nor enjoyed by everyone, on the whole human beings live longer, freer, healthier, more prosperous, and more secure lives than our ancestors did. There is no guarantee that these trends will continue. But by embracing technology and accelerating modernization for all people, we believe humanity and nature can both thrive for centuries to come.

President, Pritzker Innovation Fund
Cofounder and President, Long Now Foundation
Principal, Adamantine Energy
Head of Finance, Seattle Sounders FC
Chairman and Founder, Asuragen
Director Emeritus, Google Inc.
Founding Director, Rodel Foundations
Executive Editor at National Review
Founder and Executive Director
Partner Emeritus, Venrock