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Compassionate Colleges and Universities

Heroic Imagination Project (San Francisco, CA, USA)

The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that teaches people how to take effective action in challenging situations.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, The Heroic Imagination Project was founded by Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. At HIP, we translate the extensive research findings of social psychology and related fields into meaningful insights and tools that individuals can use in their everyday lives to transform negative situations and create positive change. Dr. Zimbardo’s work has studied the psychological foundations of negative forms of social influence (such as conformity, obedience, and the bystander effect) and is now refocused on understanding the nature of everyday heroism and they psychology of personal and social growth.

HIP is a research-based organization which provides knowledge, tools, strategies, and exercises to individuals and groups to help them to overcome the social and psychological forces which can keep them from taking effective action at crucial moments in their lives. HIP also conducts original research on psychology of personal, social, and systemic growth, specifically the academic and social success of students.


Our Mission

To teach individuals the skills and awareness needed to make effective decisions in challenging situations.


Our Programs

We have developed a number of programs which have been designed to be useful for anyone and which incorporate the findings of recent and classic research in social psychology and related fields. Our programs teach ordinary people how to develop the skills needed to resist such behaviors as bullying, negative conformity, and mindless obedience and to act wisely and effectively during challenging social situations. Our programs use videos, stories from research, and hands on exercises to teach people about the psychological tendencies we all share, as well as how relying on them in unclear or novel situations can cause problems or even be dangerous. We evaluate our programs to verify that they are providing a measurable and lasting benefits for our participants and partners.


Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Website: Heroic Imagination

Facebook Page: Heroic Imagination Project



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