Research Project The Hope Project

The Hope Project

What role does hope play in organizations, communities and on an individual level? That is exactly what we focus on: we conduct academic research of hope. Hope is an indispensable motivator and factor when it comes to achieving more inclusiveness, transformation, innovation and agility in a rapidly changing world.

Our mission

The Hope Project is a scientific project that focuses on increasing insight into hope by, among other things, measuring it, as well as positively influencing hope.

Our mission is to achieve a significant increase of hope in Western Europe and North America. We do not see hope as an objective in itself, but as a crucial motivator for achieving for example inclusiveness and agility. We work on our mission by providing insight into the concept of hope, carrying out hope measurements at national, local and organizational levels and we provide interventions to increase hope.

What is hope?

We define hope as a desire for an achievable, but always uncertain goal. Hope is therefore an important motivation for change and innovation. It helps and encourages organizations and individuals to flourish in a rapidly changing world. We distinguish seven different dimensions as crucial aspects of hope.

Hope is neither unambiguous nor a simple concept. You have hope in sizes, from small (‘I hope I will catch my train’) to big (‘a better world for everyone’). Hope can be passive (like hoping for sunny weather, tomorrow), or active (hoping you manage to find your way to the city centre).

The Hope Barometer

The Hope Barometer is an insightful measuring tool. It has been developed with the aim of measuring hope in an understandable way. This can be done on a national or regional/urban level as well as in organizations and communities. Some contexts require a more extensive measurement of hope. In that case we can adapt The Hope Barometer to the context. We have done this, for example, when measuring hope among young people. The aspect of hope can also be included in existing, broader measurements such as we have done in a measurement of happiness and hope at a medical institution. Recently, we also conducted research on hope in the context of a company. This allowed us to provide a more in-depth perspective to an employee survey, and to better interpret the results using hope theory. Another example of a contextualized measurement of hope is the collaboration with an NGO. For them we measure hope among children in a number of non-Western countries.

Once the results of The Hope Barometer are known, it is possible to determine interventions to increase hope. The design of interventions is always tailor-made and focuses on one or more dimensions of hope.

When deploying interventions, we make use of the expertise of other parties, for example in the field of positive psychology and, of course, the knowledge, skills and experience of our own organization. Together we develop an action plan and include a subsequent measurement to provide insight into the effect of the interventions.

Collaboration and Funding

We are carrying out this project on behalf of the stichting Netherlands Hope Research Institute. See also the foundation’s website where more is explained about this wonderful project:

The Hope Project is made possible by the Goldschmeding Foundation for People, Work and Economy. See also their website about our project:

We are keen on working together with other institutions and disciplines. We partner with the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation (EHERO), a research institute of the Erasmus School of Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In collaboration with EHERO, The Hope Barometer has been developed. We also cooperate closely with Prof. Dr. Anthony Scioli, Professor of Psychology at the University System of New Hampshire’s Keen State College. He is a leading scholar in Hope Theory and has created multiple hope assessment tools.