The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, online at, serves as a clearing house for inequality scholarship and data, supports graduate and undergraduate training programs in poverty and inequality analysis, and fosters innovative interdisciplinary research on poverty and inequality. They also publish and distribute Pathways, a landmark magazine on poverty, inequality, and social policy. 

A web-based center for trend and other breaking research data on poverty offers journalists, politicians, and policy makers at all levels immediate access to a wealth of information, making it possible to monitor poverty and inequality just as easily as monitoring economic output. Professor David Grusky, Director of the Stanford Center, believes this access is crucial. Without it, every American loses, because societies that choose a high-poverty road do so at a high cost to rich and poor alike (e.g., through raising crime rates and increasing the national health care bill, among other things). In other words, a high-poverty economy hurts everyone’s bottom line and should be treated accordingly. Dr. Grusky hopes that his work can help prepare the next generation to face the looming spectre of poverty and remove this social blight. 

This Center’s objectives include: to support scientific analysis of poverty and inequality, to develop science-based policy on poverty and inequality, to disseminate data and research on poverty and inequality, and to train the next generation of scholars, policy analysts, and politicians. The Center was founded by Center Director Dr. David Grusky, who can be seen on the Elfenworks feature film “The Concert for Hope.” Contact information: ~ Building 80, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-2029 ~ (650) 724-6912. 

Our Support of Stanford

Website: We designed and developed the Center’s database-driven website, the cornerstone of the Center as the data repository. We released 2.0 in 2010, but our basic design stood unchanged until 2016 – ten years – before undergoing an overhaul, but the underlying backbone remains. Members of our team also designed the logo for the Center as well as the branding materials used at the Center’s annual State of the Union event. 

Launch: We co-produced the celebration launch event, A Concert for Hope. The launch of the website and Center were celebrated on Thursday, September 6, 2007, an event that continues to make ripples, as the documentary film is still being screened, ten years later.

Visiting Scholars: The Elfenworks Foundation Visiting Scholars Program brings leading scholars and practitioners to Stanford University to carry out research, teach classes and inform public debate on poverty and inequality policy. Each year, the Elfenworks Foundation funds two visitors: a distinguished scholar who spends one or two semesters in residence delivering several public lectures and writing a book for the Controversies in Inequality book series, and a visiting lecturer who contributes to graduate and undergraduate programs in poverty and inequality.

Poverty, Inequality and Policy Magazine: As part of its continuing involvement with the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, our foundation helped the Center develop Pathways, its magazine on Poverty, Inequality and Policy. The Elfenworks Visiting Scholars have been among many distinguished contributors to this magazine, which has for years provided a forum for top scholars to disseminate their research and to provide the facts and cogent analysis that inform crucial policy decisions on poverty and inequality.

External Advisor: Our CEO continues to serve as an External Advisor and our technologists continue to assist with expertise, as requested. We have worked hard to build bridges for the Stanford Center with other groups, including an early which was sparked by Bruce Western (Harvard) and David Grusky (Stanford) which we worked towards facilitating. This Collaboration for Poverty Research, we believe, was a first between Harvard and Stanford, and other collaborations have followed.


Feedback from Stanford in March of 2017 is as follows:

“Thanks to support from the Elfenworks Foundation and our other funders, the CPI has produced 19 issues of Pathways Magazine, including 4 annual State of the Union Reports. Just in the first 18 editions, there were 137 articles. As part of the CPI’s collaboration with the Harvard Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy, we produced 12 podcasts featuring discussions of cutting-edge research on poverty, inequality, and social policy. We also released America’s Poverty Course, the country’s first online course on poverty and inequality, which included 49 videos highlighting the most recent findings on poverty and inequality. Finally, support from Elfenworks has allowed the CPI to directly support 13 postdoctoral and visiting scholars, as well as to host shorter visits of both distinguished and new scholars of poverty and inequality.”

We asked the Center Director, Dr. David Grusky, for feedback as to which parts might be attributable to Elfenworks, and he wrote back with this generous comment:  

The problem is that pretty much everything we’ve done is due to Elfenworks. If it weren’t for Elfenworks, we’d be in a completely different situation, a much worse one!   And hence it’s hard to sort out what we’ve done that isn’t attributable to Elfenworks.  I’m not trying to be generous or nice … that’s just the truth of it.

Stay tuned for more great things from Professor Grusky and all our wonderful partners at The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality – follow them on Facebook and visit them online at