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An open society is a place where we can write and speak what we think, make and enjoy art freely, and engage in informed debate about how we want to live.

Our Work

A person at a desk looking at several monitors
A fact checking journalist at work at a media company in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 27, 2018. Photo by Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty

Open Society supports efforts to strengthen freedom of expression, privacy, and access to information—against the background of a constantly evolving digital environment that has enhanced the capacity of both state and corporate power to influence and affect our private lives. We work to make the use of digital technology more accountable to society. We seek to advance cultural and artistic freedom that inspires positive change. And we support independent journalism and media groups whose work helps build informed, engaged societies.

Technology and Society

A handful of private technology firms wield enormous power over our daily lives, but with no genuine accountability—while providing governments with new surveillance technologies that can suppress dissent and reinforce discrimination against vulnerable groups. Open Society supports the creation of global standards and rules for the behavior of existing corporate digital platforms—including measures to protect user privacy and to counter hate speech and disinformation.

Independent Journalism

Journalists in an office
Gerard Ryle, director of the ICIJ, talks with a Le Monde reporter at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on January 22, 2015. © Melissa Golden/Redux

We are proud to be among the funders of media initiatives and organizations that have time and again exposed deep-rooted political corruption and malfeasance. We support the search for new models of media investment and funding that will preserve editorial independence. And we work with groups around the world that help protect journalists from threats of violence and legal intimidation.

Culture and Art

Man viewing a glass case of objects
Royal art, that was looted by the French colonial soldiers and recently returned to Benin, seen on display at the Marina Palace of Cotonou in Benin, on July 27, 2022. © Lemouton Stephane/Pool/ABACA

Open Society is a leading funder of ongoing efforts to identify and return cultural artifacts now in leading museums and galleries around the world that were acquired by theft, looting, and pillage under colonial administrations. We also support the work of creative and socially-engaged artists and institutions with an emphasis on voices from excluded communities and the Global South. This includes our support for individual artists through our Soros Arts Fellowships program.

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