One of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea signifies a general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
See more than 1,000 examples of the Wisconsin Idea in action
The Wisconsin Idea in action
UW serves the Madison community
Guided by our commitment to public service, we are active participants in the Madison area. This strong bond is reinforced through UW–Madison’s involvement with schools, cultural organizations, non-profits and more.
And the state of Wisconsin as a whole
UW–Madison is a powerful economic engine for Wisconsin, generating $15 billion annually in economic impact. Our contributions make Wisconsin financially stronger and more competitive across all industries.
Our impact spans the nation
The UW is home to many of today’s top thinkers, researchers, and leaders, who are frequently sought out to help with the nation’s emerging challenges.
And the world
UW–Madison's history of collaboration gives us a global perspective on pressing issues facing our world. We recruit the best, and we generously fund projects that seek to improve lives far beyond our borders.