Grand Challenges for Social Work

The Grand Challenges for Social Work, initiated by the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare (AASWSW), sets an agenda for social innovation by identifying and charting a course to address 13 Grand Challenges dominating the current social context in the United States. This agenda builds on the past century’s grand accomplishments in Social Work.

CSD has broad ties to the AASWSW and Grand Challenges Initiative. The center is collaborating on policy development and administrative leadership. CSD has also provided editorial and communications support, 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 addressing the Grand Challenges.

Michael Sherraden, CSD’s founding director, is on the Grand Challenges Executive Committee and Leadership Board, and a former member of the AASWSW Board of Directors. 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:

Co-Chair, Grand Challenges Executive Committee

Michael Sherraden

CSD Founding Director,
George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor

Grand Challenges Director of Policy Initiatives

Lissa Johnson

CSD Associate Director; Director of Administration;
Co-Director Financial Capability and Asset Building