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  • Impact Study Results

In 2023, I-House partnered with academic researchers Dr. Jay Van Bavel and Dr. Dominic Packer, authors of The Power of Us (Little, Brown, Spark 2021), to lead a large-scale research survey, the first of its kind in I-House’s history, to assess the impact living at I-House has had on the lives of our alumni. Dr. Diego Reinero (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Anni Sternisko (United Nations) worked with Dr. Van Bavel and Dr. Packer, using research-validated measures to establish that I-House is an environment that helps create caring, engaged global citizens.

Over the course of our 99 years, we have seen a wealth of anecdotal evidence to support our impact, but we had never collected, examined, and quantified the experiences of our alumni—until today.

Over 1,600 I-House alumni generously took the time to complete a 15-minute survey. Respondents included individuals from 94 different countries, with an average age of 52 and an average residence period of approximately 1.5 years at I-House between 1952 and 2023.

With a sample size this large, the research team was able to show statistically how transformative the I-House experience has been for those who have lived here. They found evidence that suggests that living at I-House has a significant, positive impact on our residents’ social and cultural intelligence, indicating that our alumni are significantly more open-minded and tolerant than the average population.

I-House alumni scored higher than global benchmarks on every single measure the researchers considered, including openness, global citizenship, intellectual humility, pro-social behavior, empathy, and conscientiousness. This was particularly true of those alumni who identified closely with I-House and our core values of respect, empathy, and moral courage. Our alumni also displayed lower affective polarization compared to the typical US population.

Qualitative data from the study’s open-ended questions showed that I-House creates a nurturing environment where members feel valued, supported, and inspired. The researchers concluded that I-House has been successful in accomplishing our mission, confirming that living at I-House builds cross-cultural understanding and awareness for those who have been in residence.

We could not be more delighted to share what we have long believed to be true: I-House offers a community that is not just a residence but a catalyst for personal and professional transformation.

Thank you to all who took the time to participate!