International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP)

Many wealthy societies face challenges and developing countries tend to attempt to imitate their solutions in order to end poverty and hardships instead of finding new models. Can we hope for a better society in the future?

Societies are being impacted profoundly in current times by a number of interconnected forces, such as the weakening of the nation state, unequal transformations in health and education outcomes, contestations between the religious and the secular and powerful forces of technical change which are altering the world of work and the power relations between capital and labour.

The International Panel on Social Progress is uniting hundreds of researchers from social sciences and the humanities in an effort to develop research-based, multi-disciplinary, non-partisan, action-driven solutions to these challenges. The result is to be published in a report covering the following issues:

  • Democracy and Citizenship
  • Poverty, Inequality and Well-Being
  • Global Risks, Resources
  • Markets, Finance and Corporations
  • Private and Public Governance
  • The Future of Work
  • Violence, Peace and Security
  • Global Health
  • Religions and Secularisms
  • Gender-Family-Reproduction-Sexuality
  • Urban Issues, Urban-Rural Relations
  • Education, Communication and Media

Four cross-cutting themes will be weaved through the report: (i) technology and innovation, (ii) globalization, (iii) social movements, (iv) identity/community.

For each of these topics, the report will examine the following three questions:

  1. What is the current situation and what are the historical and prospective trends?
  2. What direction of change can be inspired by the search for social justice?
  3. What are the drivers and barriers for such a change?

We are partners of the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP), which will publish a report with 22 chapters on social, economic, environmental and political challenges in Cambridge University Press 2018. With funding from The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, we have organized six workshops with the authors of the chapters of the report and in connection with them arranged a number of open lectures. Parts of the report and a brief summary will be published in Swedish by the Institute for Futures Studies.

Read more about the project at

Below you can watch the trailer of a documentary about the IPSP, A New Society.

A New Society Trailer from Sofie Wolthers on Vimeo.



Principal Investigator

Marc Fleurbaey

Project members

Gustaf Arrhenius Director and Professor, Practical Philosophy
Tim Campbell PhD, Philosophy
Göran Duus-Otterström Professor, Political Science
Karim Jebari PhD., Philosophy
H. Orri Stefánsson Professor, Practical Philosophy


The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences