Grand Challenges for Social Work

 The Grand Challenges for Social Work, an initiative of the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare (AASWSW), sets an agenda for social innovation by identifying and charting a course to address 12 Grand Challenges dominating the current social context:

  • Ensure healthy development of all youth
  • Close the health gap
  • Stop family violence
  • Eradicate social isolation
  • End homelessness
  • Promote smart decarceration
  • Reduce extreme economic inequality
  • Build financial capability for all
  • Harness technology for social good
  • Create social responses to a changing environment
  • Achieve equal opportunity and justice
  • Advance long and productive lives
CSD has broad ties to the AASWSW. The center is collaborating with the academy on policy development and administrative leadership. CSD has also provided editorial and communications support for the Grand Challenges initiative, facilitating the development of concept papers, policy briefs, op-eds and other strategic messaging efforts.

In 2016, CSD organized Social Innovation for America’s Renewal, a conference to develop innovative policies for overcoming the Grand Challenges. Click here to watch addresses from Social Innovation for America's Renewal and to download PowerPoints.

Michael Sherraden, CSD’s founding director, is a member of the AASWSW Board of Directors, the Grand Challenges Steering Committee, and the Grand Challenges Executive Committee. CSD faculty directors lead several of the networks formed to address the Grand Challenges, and many faculty associates are also engaged in the initiative. 

Several bodies of CSD work parallel and are fueling efforts to address the Grand Challenges:
Since the 2016 conference, Grand Challenges networks have been developing specific policy action statements. The first set was released in March 2017: