We believe in the talent, brilliance, and ability of parents. When they play a central role in their child’s development and have access to the right tools and training, parents can transform our communities, systems, and institutions to support happy and healthy children.


The Parent Innovation Institute is a learning space to create initiatives that unlock and cultivate the talents of parents to be the best first teacher to their child. We work in partnership with community organizations and the parents and caregivers they serve. Together, we develop strategies to address their unmet needs and ensure their children are kindergarten-ready.

In 2017, a year-long initiative of the Parent Innovation Institute focused on program improvement and capacity building in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California. Parents, caregivers, and organizations worked collaboratively in small teams and were guided through a creative design process – co-creation and rapid-cycle learning – to develop leadership, strengthen local ecosystems, and improve programs and services.

Meet the Participants

Four community-based organizations – East Bay Agency For Children, La Clínica de La Raza Inc.The Oakland Public Library, and The Unity Council – embarked on a year-long co-creation and short-cycle learning process that explored how innovative approaches to problem-solving can generate changes that lead to improved outcomes for families and children.

Our Approach

The innovation cycle is our adaptation of design thinking methods and community organizing principles. We combine technical skills building with leadership development to support improvement and impact.