International Panel on Social Progress

Rethinking Society for the 21st Century

The International Panel on Social Progress is uniting the world’s leading researchers, sociologists, and economists in a single effort: Developing research-based, multi-disciplinary, non-partisan, action-driven solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time.

Chaired by Amartya Sen, Nobel prize for economics, IPSP aims to deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change.


The preparation of the report will go through five stages:

  1. Writting of the first version of the report. Every chapter's report will be writen by a team formed with around ten originators led by one or two main coordinators. Additional contribution may be requested to the originators from external fields which areas are not falling directly within the competence of the originators of the chapters. The latter can supplement the other chapters dealing with topics reliable to their specialism.
  2. Recueil des commentaires sur le projet de rapport. Une campagne médiatique ainsi que les ressources d’Internet permettront de collecter les commentaires provenant de la société civile, de militants sociaux et politiques, de responsables politiques, d’administrations et d’organisations internationales.
  3. Traitement des commentaires et préparation de la version finale du rapport. Le rapport présentera non seulement la synthèse des connaissances académiques, mais aussi la plus large connaissance des problèmes sociaux et des efforts visant à instaurer une meilleure société.
  4. Rédaction d'un rapport synthétique et d'un livre adressé à un large public dont le but sera de transmettre les principaux messages aux acteurs sociaux et aux décideurs politiques.

The building up of the various committees and the selection of authors.

The writing of the first draft of the report, each chapter being collectively written by a team of about ten authors, led by one or two coordinating authors. Additional contributions by external authors can be requested for special points which are not directly in the field of competence of the chapter authors. Authors can in particular contribute to other chapters than their own.

The collection of comments on the first draft. A media campaign and the activation of various networks will attract comments from scholars, civil society, activists, politicians, administrations, international organizations.

The process of the comments and the preparation of the final draft of the report. The report will make a synthesis not just of academic knowledge but also of a broader societal knowledge about social problems and ongoing efforts toward a better society.

The drafting of the Synthesis Report, a general audience book written by a small team of members of the panel with the aim of conveying the main messages for actors and policy-makers.



The issues covered by the Panel are wide ranging, and include:

  • 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. These themes function as transversal perspectives that, in the contemporary context, bear upon all twelve identified issues and hence should frame our approach to challenges and opportunities in those different areas of social life.

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?


Learn more

All informations on IPSP website




Steering Committee

The Steering Committee makes the general strategic decisions, selects the co-chairs of the Scientific Council, and, with the co-chairs, selects the members of the Scientific Council. The Steering Committee is composed of a dozen scholars of diverse origins and disciplines, who combine first-rate scholarship and experience in research management..


Ernest Aryeetey
Professor of Economics and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana

Olivier Bouin
Director of Collège d’Études Mondiales Paris, Secretary-General of the European Network of Institutes for Advanced Studies

Mamadou Diouf
Leitner Professor of African Studies, Columbia University, New York, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council

Marie-Laure Djelic
Professor in Management, ESSEC Paris

Marc Fleurbaey
Robert E. Kuenne Professor of Economics and Humanistic Studies, Princeton University

Nancy Fraser
Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Science, New School, New York

Katsuhito Iwai
Visiting Professor at ICU, Distinguished Fellow of the Tokyo Foundation, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo

Ravi Kanbur
Professor of Economics, Cornell University

Cécile Laborde
Professor of Political Theory, University College London

Vinh-Kim Nguyen
Professor, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal

Helga Nowotny
Professor of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zurich

Shalini Randeria
Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Elisa Reis
Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Leela Visaria
Honorary Professor, Gujarat Institute of Development Research

Elke Weber
Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business, Columbia Business School

Michel Wieviorka
Directeur d’Etudes EHESS, Administrator of Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme

Björn Wittrock
Professor, University of Uppsala, Director of Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study

Xiaobo Zhang
‘National 1000-Talent Program’ chair professor of economics and deputy dean, National School of Development, Peking University



Mis à jour le
28 July 2016