The UnaMesa Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, strengthens communities by increasing the number and depth of meaningful connections. Located in Palo Alto, CA, we incubate projects such as the Magical Bridge Foundation and InPlay that create and promote new ways of connecting within and across communities. Our overarching goal is to work with networks of social enterprises to develop shared technologies and frameworks for valuing interactions and relationships. In our view, the purpose of "impact accounting" is to drive innovations in health, education, social services by making visible which opportunities and experiences are most meaningful in the lives of individuals and families.
InPlay partners with schools to close the achievement gap by connecting disengaged, low-income children with out-of-school programs. Today more than two-thirds of children from low-income households in the US do not participate in out of school programs. Missing out on these expanded learning opportunities may be one of the most important factors leading to the achievement gap and drop-out crisis.
The InPlay web service launched in 2015 and currently serves families in Fremont, Oakland, and San Francisco.
Exemplifying the spirit of community based innovation, members of the Belle Haven neighborhood in Menlo Park came together to form the Belle Haven Action group working as an UnaMesa sponsored project to improve the health and wellbeing of their community.
Most recently Belle Haven Action has been organizing COVID testing and vaccinations for the Belle Haven and Fair Oaks communities which have had the highest rate of infections in San Mateo County.
Vaccinate California is a parent advocacy group working to improve public health in California by raising vaccination rates.
Most recently Vaccinate California has been organizing groups around the state to promote trustworthy connections and reliable information about COVID vaccines.
Since opening to the public in April 2015, Silicon Valley’s Magical Bridge Playground is heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive playground, one where everyone can play. Magical Bridge’s success underscores the urgent need for playgrounds to address the unique play needs of everyone in the community. In the fall of 2016, the Magical Bridge Foundation operating as part of the UnaMesa Association and began efforts to build playgrounds in Redwood City and several other communities. Today the Magical Bridge Foundation stands alone as a separate organization that has completed the Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City and has several more under construction in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Jose and other cities around the bay area.
See the projects page for some of the projects such as TiddlyWiki, SharedRecords, and Hesperian Health Guides mobile apps that UnaMesa incubated over the years. The CoLaunchpad was one notable effort that brought together 25 members of the community into a peer to peer entrepreneurial group. These members, most of whom were balancing careers against child care and other family obligations. had the skills, commitment, and passion to build new social enterprises. .
We envision a network of social enterprises coming together to develop a shared framework and system for Impact Accounting that can drive increases in meaningful connections and wellbeing. As with financial accounting, the impact accounting processes will be based on a shared framework and understanding that ultimately the value of a service is dependent on the choices and experiences of the individuals being served.