Who Funds Us
ICASSA is funded primarily through its activities, publications, private donations and project development grants.
Who We Are
ICASSA consists of a small staff of experts, a larger group of consulants and an advisory board.
What We Do
- Scientific research
Why We Do What We Do
“The scale, rate, magnitude and significance of changes to the global environment have made it clear that ‘research as usual’ will not suffice to help individuals and groups understand and respond to the multiple, interacting changes that are now occurring.” - Karen O’Brien, UNESCO
“We lack any coherent formula for how to manage the consequences of whatever decision we make. We all know that globalization, the new service economy, or the new demography threaten received notions of equality, but do we have any formula for rewriting the egalitarian agenda?” - Espying-Anders
Social Science must Develop Along New Lines
At ICASSA, we aim to develop the techno-scientific capacity to improve social science for the application of an egalitarian and sustainable agenda. We understand that the successful application of a long term multi sector agenda of social justice, economic stability and environmental sustainability can only come via the successful application of complex social science.
Social scientists and public administrators are quickly realizing that orthodox science/old political algorithms will not serve to infuse science at the expense of rhetoric in the determination of public policy. Today most solutions and strategies stem from reductionist ideological frames, simplistic methodologies and exclusive decision making processes. As such there is either a collective failure to understand the interrelated dynamics of the economic, environmental and social systems or to elecit the right information at the right time.
The Delphic maxim to 'Know Thyself' in the post modern context is something we have yet to achieve. As such, it is anyone’s guess today what the quality of the economy or environment will be in the near future or in two months. This means we do no not have a working means to estimate the impact of public policy or over integrate the research and best practices comprehensively. The point is that without the capacity to scientifically analyze our past and effectively predict the future, we are in fact choiceless –from the radical socialist to the liberal fundamentalist-, prisoners in the path dependence of previous errors and power of dogma. So the task remains to develop ways to disentangle facts from cultural fiction and put practical tools in the hands of people who are forced to make decisions. In other words: wrong policies may persist as long as no experimentation takes place to elicit the correct model (Levine 1993, Lucas 2007, Saint-Paul 2011).
A Frontier of Modern Science
Moving past this state is a task which has serious and open methodological, technical, epistimological, and practical problems. Developing a rigorous scientific method for modeling or simulating culture, economic and environmental dynamics is one of the biggest challenges of modern science. Finding ways to democratize this knowledge for a critical level of practical application poses yet another barrier. Because of this, by many accounts the systematic study of crucial areas of social science, e.g. culture, has been deemed a virtual dead end even by the its initial proponents. ICASSA aims to tackle this issues in a systematic way, without reducing the complexity of the task, and by taking advange of new technologies.
"Technique is interesting to technicians (which is what we are, if we are to be of any use to anyone)" - Lucas