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All of our programmatic activities touch on one or more overarching themes.

Building Equitable Institutions

To function effectively, large-scale societies need robust institutions - that is, the formal and informal rules that incentivize behavior. Institutions affect distribution and coordination. Equitable societies thus require that institutions are crafted to maximize societal and individual flourishing. We study how such societies can be built.

Effects of Technology on Humans & Society

Automation, artificial intelligence, digitalization, and technological change all have consequences for humans and society.  They affect the transformation of job opportunities, the skills required for future work, the costs of healthcare, and education, urban development and infrastructure, social life, news, elections, and many other aspects of our lives. We focus on the role that social scientists can play in mitigating the problematic consequences of technology and in ensuring that it serves societal well-being.

Rethinking the Social Sciences 

The social sciences focus on human motivation, behavior, and interaction. However, the current tools and standards for conducting this work do not adequately meet the demands of modern society and, thus, need rethinking. At issue are the standards for conducting field research, particularly with vulnerable populations; how social science research can help inform policy; and how to convey the value of social science research to those beyond the ivory tower.  


CASBS is an accelerator of ideas. It facilitates multi-year, interdisciplinary, intersectoral, and collaborative groups as they progress on significant societal problems. The combination of great researchers and thinkers in multiple meetings over time enhances the prospects for major breakthroughs. CASBS projects depend on external funding and generally lasts three to five years.

Current Projects

Past Projects

Other Activities

For more information, please contact CASBS program directors Federica Carugati ( and Betsy Rajala (