our mission

Inspired by the Heroic Imagination in each of us, HIP designs innovative strategies by combining psychological research, intervention education and social activism to create everyday heroes equipped to solve local and global problems.



What started initially as the controversial Stanford Prison Experiment by Dr. Philip Zimbardo in 1971 became a collective social experiment called the Heroic Imagination Project, a nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to training people to act in more heroic ways. For the past decade, HIP has been conducting trainings and workshops for businesses and schools across the United States and many nations around the world. Whether taking on bullying, police oversight, racism or sexism, HIP has been committed to teaching skills for acting more heroically everyday.


After ten years of training 35,000 individuals across the world, HIP is now moving from individual acts of heroism to building a critical mass to achieve collective heroism in order to shift the hostile imagination of our times into a more heroic imagination. Today, HIP is a leader in giving people new skills through groundbreaking scientific research, experiential training workshops and social hackathons. These activities bring diverse people together to create opportunities for problem solving across diverse cultures and communities.




At HIP, we know that understanding the psychology behind situational conflicts is crucial for gaining the skills to problem solve and create collective solutions that ameliorate the social conflicts of our communities. Gaining the skills to turn around situational conflicts is a prerequisite for solving global problems like gun violence, racial profiling and climate change. Yet, personal bias and bystander effects are social factors that continue to divide countless communities. At HIP, we believe in the power of the heroic imagination. Given the rising global tensions as represented by political, economic, gender, religious and ethnic conflicts inciting random, as well as, systemic public violence towards African Americans, Dreamers, immigrants, Muslims, women, transgender and incarcerated populations across America, HIP’s Design Teams have adapted, deepened and diversified our curriculum to address the unique needs of these different underserved populations. We are not just leaving these social structures to the forces of chance or history. Through social Hackathons, or HIP HACKS, we engage teams of people with diverse backgrounds to create new social simulators and creative exercises. 





Combating the Bystander Effect - developing social resilience skills necessary to act effectively and overcome conforming forces in adverse or ambiguous situations when others are present.

growth mindset

Developing a Growth Mindset - developing the self-efficacy needed to explore personal potential and to cultivate skills necessary for everyday heroism.



Bias Reduction- identifying the effects and causes of bias, assessing personal bias, and learning actionable strategies to reduce tendencies towards discrimination in oneself and others.



Heroism 101 - gaining a deeper understanding of heroism and how to develop ones own heroic traits and skills.  Learn how heroes and hero stories impact our development and quality of life, and understand the roles of bystanders, heroes, villains, and victims. 







businesses & boardrooms


schools & universities

HIP works with several governmental agencies like the Police Orientation and Preparation Program to better understand the impact of bias on oversight strategies, profiling tendencies and safety protocol. Non-profit organizations like Urban Services YMCA and Hosok Tere in Hungary have had HIP trainings to better understand the importance of having a Growth Mindset when coming from disadvantaged communities. Some of the world’s largest corporations like the Ford Motor Company and SAP use the HIP curriculum to better understand bias and the bystander effect in the face of situational conflict. Many schools like Palo Alto High School, California State University Bakersfield, The Green School in Bali, Crescent School in Canada and Charles University/ Nidar in Czech Republic have used the HIP curriculum to train teachers, students and administrators in growth mindset, as well as, understanding situational conflict relative to individual bias.


global impact

Since HIP’s inception 10 years ago, HIP’s transformative lessons in Bias Reduction, Overcoming Bystander Effect and Growth Mindset have impacted to date 700 teachers and educators, 500 schools and 35,000 individuals across the world. Through its experiential training workshops, HIP serves approximately 10 high schools, 50 teachers and 3,000 individuals each year. HIP’s educational programs have impacted professors, college students, high school students, as well as, business leaders, company employees and staff from non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. In order to measure the success of our training, HIP works with our clients to conduct pre-assessment and post-assessment surveys and collect statistical and psychometric data that is used to assess and evaluate the short-term and long-term social impact of our programs. HIP has also inspired the creation of nearly 20 global HIP affiliated non-profit organizations in countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Canada and Indonesia.

Dr. Zimbardo 

talks about HIp's inception