CARSS nurtures bold projects aiming for potentially high impacts on the world of ideas but also on pressing social problems. In recent years, the following examples illustrate this aspiration, as a work in progress.
Challenging Existing Paradigms for Understanding Motivation: The Developing Alternatives to Self-Interest project led to the creation of a new book (Oxford University Press, published 2012) that brings together interdisciplinary perspectives, from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and the social sciences, on the subject of care giving. It challenges the simplistic view that humans are fundamentally self-serving, even when seeming altruistic.
A Novel Approach to Closing the Early Achievement Gap: In partnership with the Success for All Foundation, the School Reform and Beyond project launched a pilot test of a new social-emotional, self-regulated learning intervention which is integrated into the most effective evidence-based literacy curriculum for the first school years.
New Mobility Hubs: The SMART project employed systems thinking to build multi-modal mobility hubs in congested cities, making destinations more accessible. SMART also pioneered a novel model of collaboration building among public and private interests to blend the power of ITC with new transportation technologies in dense urban centers of India, South Africa, Central and South America, and more recently, North America.
Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise: The Global Corporations and Human Well-being project contributed to the creation of a business-oriented climate change research program at the University of Michigan.