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Purpose and Vision

The vision of LSSI is to support social scientists to work collaboratively for a better future in the face of the many and profound changes we are facing as a society. 

LSSI advocates for the fundamental importance of social sciences to identifying, understanding, and responding to contemporary global challenges that are complex, multifaceted, and interconnected. These types of challenges we face are intrinsically ‘societal’ - they matter because they affect us as individuals and communities, they are driven through our actions and the structures that govern our lives and they require input from people if we are to respond effectively to them. Understanding the social, economic, and political context of a challenge – and its possible solutions – is fundamentally important to finding workable interventions, adaptations, or mitigations, working at and across individual, community and systems levels. The experiences, understanding, behaviour and needs of people is vital to the success and sustainability of approaches to change, whether in the context of responding to digital change, addressing structural inequalities, or responding to the climate crisis or any other challenge facing our societies and the way we live.

 LSSI aims to: 

  • Advocate for the central role of social sciences in addressing complex challenges, bringing social sciences to the fore of important debates. 
  • Bridge gaps between different groups with perspectives and expertise which can help address challenges: both academic disciplines and external groups and organisations. 
  • Support methodological developments and innovation to enhance interdisciplinary, collaborative, and co-produced research; find synergies, combine methodologies, and take new approaches to understand how to tackle insidious problems, re-envision how society might work and ensure research evidence can create real world change.  
  • Improve the skills and capacity of the research community to create innovative, implementable, and impactful solutions to real world challenges, rooted in an understanding of the social, economic, and political contexts in which problems exist, and the experiences of those affected by them.