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Center for Social Solutions

The Center for Social Solutions promotes academic research that serves the common good in four areas: the power of diversity, the connection of our history to our present, fair access to water, and the future of work. By connecting rigorous scholarship from the University of Michigan and other universities to the world, we offer concrete, tangible solutions to real problems, promote the common good, and strengthen our national community.


The Center for Social Solutions proposes to produce solutions to four critical problems over the course of the next decade—how to leverage diversity for the benefit of all, how to confront slavery and its continuing hold on America and its social relations, how to move water from flood prone regions to drought stricken areas, and how to secure the dignity of labor in an automated world.

So much of contemporary society focuses on the identification of the “right” problems. When we turn to solving those problems we often take a disciplinary (e.g. political, psychological, economic, historical, sociological, etc.) or cluster approach (i.e. sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities or arts). While interdisciplinary teams do exist and work together, bringing together scholars from across the campus with potential partners from beyond the university and the academy is rarer. For the next decade, the Center will do just that: assemble different teams of scholars, policy analysts, arts producers, media experts, philanthropic investors, social activists, former politicians and others to address four real problems in real time with the idea of arriving at measurable solutions. While we start with a national perspective, we hope and trust that what we learn may be useful and shareable as we confront the broader world.