What is the Institute for Culture and Society?

The Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) is the research center for humanities and social sciences of the Universidad de Navarra. It was inaugurated in 2010, following a model of research excellence consolidated over more than fifty years in other areas of the academic center such as business –through IESE-, biomedical research –Clinical and CIMA- or engineering –CEIT-.

The first years have been decisive for laying the groundwork for the aspirations of ICS: to be a center in search for answers to some of the principal challenges of today's world through rigorous academic research. There are key questions such as the development of countries and the eradication of extreme poverty, the defense of human dignity, maximizing the value of family, guaranteeing the quality of public and private institutions, the search for the common good or vindicating the role of citizens in order to change society.

Aware of the fact that "intentionality" is an essential requirement if the proposals are to be truly universal, the ICS, from its very beginnings, looked for ways to bring together persons from diverse nations and cultures. Therefore, great efforts have been made to attract foreign talent and to keep Spanish talent, leading to the consolidation of research teams made up of the best educated individuals, from well-known worldwide universities such as Cambridge, Columbia, Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Yale, Max Planck Institute, etc.

In addition to the international aspect, another aspect of great significance is interdisciplinarity: given the complexity of the questions addressed in ICS, the dialogue between different fields of knowledge is an essential requirement for advancing in knowledge. In the different projects experts in philosophy, sociology, economics, medicine, nursing, theology, linguistics, pedagogy, biology, communications, etc. work together.

With these ingredients, quality research can be carried out by systematic and continuous evaluation, both quantitative and qualitative: the fruits of each project are reported annually; every three years, an overall evaluation is carried out on the progress that has been made as well as the attainment of proposed objectives.

However, all the aforementioned become useless without the perspective of servicing citizens: ICS attempts to involve society in generating knowledge and transferring the research results so as to improve the lives of individuals. The principal vehicles for transferring proposals to citizens and inspiring them so that they can make better decisions in their lives and in the public sphere are tasks which pertain to the area of communications (news, articles, web, videos, social networks, presence in the media, etc.), informative conferences, didactic materials, reports, consulting agencies, etc.