Founded in 2007, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) is a unit of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension. Our mission is to address local, state and national issues by linking public scholarship, civic outreach and student service to enhance community life throughout Wisconsin. WIPPS work is based on two core ideas: 1) We support citizen-centered democracy and 2) We embrace the Wisconsin Idea. First, we believe that the strength of American democracy in the 21st century depends on the engagement of citizens and communities in making decisions about issues that matter to them. This is public work in that we promote and build capacity for work by the public, for public purposes. Second, as part of the University of Wisconsin, we recognize the Wisconsin Idea as more than a platitude. The Wisconsin Idea holds that the resources of the university should be used to serve the interests and needs of the entire state. To this end, WIPPS’ task is to provide resources, information and ideas to empower the people and communities of Wisconsin.