International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) (completed)

The International Panel on Social Progress brings together social scientists (mostly economists) from all over the world in order to analyze and spur debate about social change and alternative models for society. By promoting cooperation across disciplines, the Panel aims to answer how we can create a just society.

About the project

The crisis of social-democracy in recent decades seems, in the rich countries, to have generated a decline of hope for a just society. In developing countries, the trend is now to mimic the developed countries, rather than inventing a new model, and, in spite of reduced poverty in several countries, social hardships reminiscent of the early phase of Western capitalism are widespread.

Yet neither the collapse of utopian illusions nor booming capitalism in developing countries should mean the end of the quest for justice.

Can we hope for a better society?

Social scientists have never been so well equipped to provide an answer, thanks to the development of all the relevant disciplines since WWII.


  • The International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) will harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues and will 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 Panel will seek consensus whenever possible but will not hide controversies and will honestly present up-to-date arguments and analyses, and debates about them, in an accessible way.
  • The Panel will have no partisan political agenda, but will aim at restoring hope in social progress and stimulating intellectual and public debates. Different political and philosophical views may conceive of social progress in different ways, emphasizing values such as freedom, dignity, or equality.
  • The Panel will retain full independence from political parties, governments, and organizations with a partisan agenda.
  • While the Panel will primarily work for the dissemination of knowledge to all relevant actors in society, it will also foster research on the topics it will study and help to revive interest for research in social long-term prospective analysis.


The Panel's work will result in a report gathering the state-of-the-art knowledge about the desirability and possibility of all relevant forms of structural social change. It synthesizes the knowledge on the principles, possibilities, and methods for improving the main institutions of the modern societies.

The IPSP Report, to be completed in 2017, does not cover all social issues and all social policies, but focuses on the most important issues involving substantial changes and bearing on the long run perspective.

The IPSP Report draws on the competence of a few hundred academics (of all relevant disciplines, perspectives, and regions of the world) willing and able to engage in a true interdisciplinary dialogue on key dimensions of social progress.

The first draft of the IPSP Report will be released Fall 2016. Read more on the issues covered in the report.


Centre for the Study of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance (ESOP) functions as the national contact point for IPSP. ESOP leader Kalle Moene is co-author of Chapter 8: Social Justice, Well-Being and Economic Organization. The chapter assesses which aspects that can be changed in order to increase social justice and well-being, and the prospects for achieving such outcomes based on economic, social and political feasibility. Finally, it presents alternative visions for promoting progress.

Published July 7, 2016 10:06 AM - Last modified Dec. 10, 2019 4:05 PM