Tri-Sector Mindset & Tools: A Guide

Tri-Sector Mindset

Defining the Tri-Sector Mindset

The Problem: We live in a time where progress is slow-moving, expensive, and complex when it comes to solving the world’s problems, from the global effects of climate change to homelessness in our hometowns. The effects of these problems are acutely felt by humanity (and all life forms), including individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments.
We are a nation of innovators, a nation rich with resources, and yet we are falling short in our collective, potential abilities to drive innovation forward on solving societal problems, big and small. Siloed thinking and siloed resources impede progress, creating bottlenecks and expensive inefficiencies. These barriers separate us from existing opportunities and attainable solutions. But they don’t have to.

We can do better.


What would the world look like with more connected knowledge, wisdom, and resources, organized to help drive societal progress?

The Solution: By adopting a tri-sector mindset, or seeing the world through a tri-sector lens, we are able to identify opportunities to innovate and solve problems by aligning resources and interests from private enterprise (businesses), the public sector (government), and social sectors (nonprofits). By adopting a tri-sector mindset, organizations can break down sector silos, unlock assets, and provide impactful solutions that create common benefit.
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But What Is a Tri-Sector Mindset?

The Tri-Sector Mindset is a mindset that adopts an “All of Society” approach to problem solving, one in which we understand that companies, nonprofits, and governments each play a role in advancing societal progress. Each sector contributes to and benefits from this transformative approach. By leveraging existing resources and aligning self-interests from across all three sectors, we can achieve mutual benefit, profitability, and societal progress.
This mindset proposes a fundamental shift in the way we view the world and the way we solve problems, focusing on the HOW, rather than the what. It is an impact- and human-centered approach that is scalable in nature and can be applied to solving all problems—big and small—in all impact areas, from public health and homelessness to economic challenges and systemic inequities.


We have $250 Trillion of assets in the U.S. alone.

Imagine if we were to connect our resources, knowledge and insights, and drive societal progress, at scale, faster.

By adopting the tri-sector mindset, we open our world to vast new opportunities for repurposing existing resources, re-aligning them for optimal outcomes, and harnessing aligned self-interest across all three sectors. The result? Strategies that unite profit and purpose. Solutions that benefit people, society, and the planet.
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