The Centres

In 2016 and 2017, preceding the founding of THE NEW INSTITUTE in Hamburg, four centres at different universities were established, each of them committed to research at the intersection of academic and social transformation.

Humanities and Social Change Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara

The Centre in Santa Barbara, led by Tom Carlson, pursued research on the existential grounds and implications of social change, emphasizing its ethical, psychological, and spiritual stakes. Themes at the core of its initial work included the status of fact and value in current public discourse; the epistemological and ethical significance of human affections; and intergenerational responsibility and care for the future. The funding ended in June 2022.
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The New Institute’s Centre for Environmental Humanities at Ca' Foscari University Venice

The Centre in Venice is led by Francesca Tarocco, a writer, critic, and researcher with regard to the intersection of Buddhist and Asian Studies. The program here is shaped around the environmental humanities, connecting its research to the history and challenges of its home, Venice. The centre will be financed until March 2025.
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Humanities and Social Change Centre at the University of Cambridge

The Centre in Cambridge, UK, focuses on the complex relationship between technology and democracy. Marcus Tomalin is supervising research into the social impact of artificially intelligent communications technology, Anna Alexandrova is leading enquiry into the pushback against elites and experts more specifically in current societies. The centre will be financed until April 2024.
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The New Institute’s Centre for Social Critique at Humboldt University Berlin

The Centre in Berlin is following the tradition of the critical theory, under the guidance of the political philosopher Rahel Jaeggi. The interest is in the pathologies of capitalism both current and past to understand how social change can be best advanced in an age of escalating inequality.
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