Board of Regents of the UW System (Madison, WI)


  • Name:Joel Rogers

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Board of Regents of the UW System
  • Address:21 N Park St, Suite 6401
    Madison, WI 53715
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:608-265-8665

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • COWS (The Center on Wisconsin Strategy) is a national field laboratory and policy center that invents, tests, and disseminates high-road strategies that benefit working Americans. Our work promotes high-wages, low-waste, high-productivity and democratic accountability.

  • Overview:
  • COWS (Center on Wisconsin Strategy) is a nonprofit think-and-do tank, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that promotes “high road” solutions to social problems. These treat shared growth and opportunity, environmental sustainability, and resilient democratic institutions as necessary and achievable complements in human development. COWS is nonpartisan but values-based.

    COWS work is collaborative, experimental, and evidence-driven. We have a long history of movement building and developing collaborations that bring together disparate and sometimes unlikely alliances. These networks and this experience serves us well in disseminating our ideas and working with others to influence change. COWS works primarily in US metropolitan regions and states to foster shared prosperity, sustainable growth, and democracy in spite of real world conditions such as globalization, markets, and existing inequality. We are hopeful and believe that immediate steps can be taken by communities to move forward on the high-road. In this respect, COWS provides resources to policy makers to help make this happen.

    The Mayors Innovation Project (MIP) is a project of COWS and a learning network among American mayors committed to “high road” policy and governance: shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. Began in 2007, we have a proven track record of both working with individual governments to plan and implement projects, and spreading innovations to cities across the country. Our staff has worked in local government and local campaigns as activists and appointed or elected officials. We understand how local government works, and what it takes to get things done.

    The Mayors Innovation Project (MIP) is a learning network among American mayors committed to “high road” policy and governance: shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government.
    Around the country, mayors are taking the lead on pressing social issues—climate change, infrastructure, economic revitalization, health care, prison reentry, and more. MIP supports and encourages this innovation by providing cutting-edge thinking and concrete examples that your city can use right away.

    Building high road cities and metropolitan regions is both good for citizens and a key way to move the country to the high road nationally. Cities have enormous untapped assets and political strengths that can be organized better now.
    The Mayors Innovation Project exists to help its member participants lead by example, share their experiences with peers, and make this argument for cities nationally.

    MIP is a collaboration between policymakers and research experts, connecting mayors to research relevant to policy issues in their home cities.

    MIP meetings provide a forum for mayors to share their best practices. Many of the best policy ideas discussed at MIP meetings—in housing, energy, transportation, economic development—come from our member cities.

    Between meetings, our listserve allows mayors, their staff, and research experts to remain in contact throughout the year. In addition, our website (www.mayorsinnovation. org) has information on new policy innovations, best practices, case studies, model legislation, background research, communication tools, and access to technical assistance.

    At each MIP meeting, we aim to send mayors back to their home cities with three to four new policy ideas they can implement immediately. The innovation doesn’t end when the meetings are over. The Mayors Innovation Project connects mayors and staff to the technical assistance they seek in implementing progressive policies that benefit their citizens and our country.

  • History:
  • COWS was founded in 1990 and is based at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. COWS has been called “the Wisconsin Idea in Action” fulfilling the philosophy that the University must use its considerable resources to move beyond its boundaries and serve the broader public good.

    While our initial projects were focused in Wisconsin our work is now both national and international in scope.

    COWS expertise and experience areas

    • State and local economic and workforce development strategy
    • Regional clusters, partnerships and industry upgrading
    • Clean energy and jobs
    • Labor market trends, job mobility and career pathways
    • State and local policy and innovation
    • Government accountability and performance reform
    • National movement building
    • Transportation Policy

    At COWS we work with businesses, communities and the public sector to help them understand how they can best allocate their resources to build healthy communities with profitable businesses and shared prosperity. We consistently seek to demonstrate that a well-functioning democracy can equitably and sustainably increase the wealth of a community.
    Current COWS Programs

    • Workforce Development
    High road economic development focuses not just on the number of jobs but the quality of jobs: compensation, job satisfaction, and opportunities for advancement. Our recent focus has been on the service sector: the growing low-wage labor market in the U.S. which employs close to 50 million people. In addition, we have also focused on preserving and enhancing job quality in sectors of the economy where it is traditionally high, and working on the creation of “Good Jobs” in the New Energy Economy.

    • Mayors Innovation project (Formerly “New Cities Project”)
    A learning network for mayors to develop innovative urban policies that put America’s cities on the high road of prosperity, inclusiveness, environmental responsibility, sound management, and democratic accountability.

    • Efficiency Cities Network (ECN)
    This is an informal policy learning network of government staff, researchers and technical assistance providers, and NGOs currently active in or committed to making scaled, comprehensive efforts at high-road energy efficiency retrofits of urban building stock.

    • Center for State Innovation (formerly “Commons Project”)
    An effort to help progressive governors and other state executives innovate and achieve results in their states. Bringing together state executives and national resources, the Project focuses on providing state leaders with policy support.

    • Advanced Manufacturing Project
    A research consortium that identifies strategies to keep large equipment manufacturing firms competitive and preserve high-quality manufacturing jobs in the upper Midwest.

    • Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC)
    The Emerald Cities Collaborative is an emerging collaboration under the co-direction of COWS founder Joel Rogers. Emerald Cities is a national effort, centered on cities and the metropolitan regions they anchor, to maximize achievement of the high-road ends of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and inclusive productive democracy.

    • State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI)
    SSTI aims to accelerate the needed transition to “smart” transportation (ST) practices that meet mobility needs without compromising achievement of the broader ends of environmental sustainability, shared prosperity, and efficient democratic government

    • ALICE (American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange)
    ALICE aims to build a one-stop, web-based, secure library of progressive model legislation and executive orders on a wide range of issues in state and local policy. There is no such library in existence now, but emergent demand from state and local progressive elected officials and others for something like it.

    COWS is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, educational and charitable organization supported by the University of Wisconsin, government grants, consulting fees for technical assistance and private foundations.

  • Year established:1990
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:24


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: