Ralston-Semler Foundation was set up in 1990 by Ricardo Semler, an entrepreneur internationally acclaimed for his business and social activities. Semler was appointed one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow due to his innovative managerial style based on the empowerment of employees and participative corporate governance.

The initial goal was to create a public utility school – oriented both to preschool and to basic education – which could introduce the democratic principles which govern Grupo Semco to the world of formal education along with its trademark of being a permanent laboratory of innovations. Over the years, the Foundation paved the way to other actions in addition to the educational initiative, always based on democratic participation and on a deep concern for the economic, social, cultural and environmental progress in the country.

These new practices, such as activities of social inclusion and community development, focus primarily on the improvement of life conditions and on the fight against poverty. The institution intends to promote education, knowledge and access to technology.