This Winners Session features the Top 10 breakthroughs in the Social Sciences and Humanities category. Learn about societal philosophy and other philosophical approaches to understand our current society: from living in a society of singularities to providing a new ethical and philosophical framework for the 21st century, from a cultural bridge between Islam and the West to asking whether a world without ‘us’ and ‘them’ is possible. This session invites us to rethink modern institutions by thinking about international laws in new ways to improve global cooperation and by building institutional networks that recognise humans as social beings who care about (distant) others. Focused analysis also reveals that Brazil’s authoritarian regime bans facial recognition technologies in cities, helps reduce COVID-19-related violence, and prevents rare minority languages from extinction. Jury Chair Shalini Randeria points out that it is “remarkable that each one boldly crosses disciplinary boundaries – many crossing the bridges between academic knowledge production, the policy world, and the wider public.“


We are delighted to announce the ten winners in the category Social Sciences and Humanities:


Breaking The Wall to International Cooperation
Anne van Aaken looks at new ways of thinking about international law to improve global cooperation.


Breaking The Wall Of Religious Diversity Through Philosophy
Amos Bertolacci’s research discloses the existence of a fundamental cultural bridge between Islam and the West.


Breaking The Wall of COVID-related Violence
Lucie Cluver helps to relieve stress in families globally and prevent child abuse, and directly address the social consequences of COVID-19 lockdowns and financial crisis.


Breaking the Wall of Face Surveillance
Kade Crockford succeeds in banning facial recognition tech in cities.


Breaking The Wall Between Online and Offline
Luciano Floridi’s project on the foundation of the philosophy of information seeks to provide a new ethical and philosophical framework for the 21st century.


Breaking the Wall of Us and Them
Will Kymlicka draws on normative philosophy and empirical social science to investigate whether a world without “us” and “them” possible.


Breaking The Wall To An Expanded Community Of Fate
Margaret Levi provides a framework to understand how institutions help individuals recognize how their destinies are entwined with strangers who can’t reciprocate.


Breaking The Walls Between Academy and Local Communities in favour of Linguistic Diversity
Justyna Olko employs multidisciplinary approaches to promote language revitalisation and ethnic minority empowerment.


Breaking The Wall of Authoritarianism in Brazil
Lilia Moritz Schwarcz offers an analysis of Brazil’s authoritarian regime.


Breaking The Wall of Singularities
Andreas Reckwitz derives a post-modern society of singularities which is based on social criteria of uniqueness, ultimately producing winners and losers.

Anne van Aaken (Dr. iur. and MA Economics) is A.v.Humboldt Professor for Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law and European Law, University of Hamburg. She was Professor at the University of St. Gallen from 2006-2018. She was Vice-President of ESIL and of EALE, and is the Chair of the EUI Research Council. She is co-editor of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement and a member of the editorial boards i.a. of the American and the European Journals of International Law and International Theory. She has been consultant for the IBRD, OECD, UNCTAD, GIZ.

Ph.D. in Philosophy University of Florence (1998), Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Yale University (2005); Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow Thomas-Institut University of Cologne (2005-2006), “Rientro dei Cervelli” fellow (2006-2010) and associate professor of History of Medieval Philosophy (2010-2018) Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, full professor of History of Medieval Philosophy IMT School Lucca. Amos has published on the formative age of Arabic-Islamic thought (Avicenna, Averroes), with special attention to the interpretation of Greek metaphysics, and on their Latin reception.

Started as a child protection social worker in South Africa’s AIDS epidemic. Awarded University of Oxford’s youngest ever female full Professorship in 2015, and Professor at University of Cape Town. €37 million raised as PI since doctorate in 2008, all for policy-focused child research with African partners. Won EU Horizon 2020 Impact Award 2019, ESRC Outstanding International Impact Prize 2017 and Leverhulme Prize 2015, all for policy impact in Africa. Technical advisor to major initiatives such as PEPFAR, UNICEF, UNAIDS, the WHO. 170 publications including the Lancet, Nature. H-index: 46.

Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just the society in general but their primary targets—people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, where he is Director of the OII Digital Ethics Lab. He is a world-renowned expert on digital ethics, the ethics of AI, the philosophy of information, and the philosophy of technology. Luciano Floridi has published more than 300 works, translated into many languages. He is deeply engaged with policy initiatives on the socio-ethical value and implications of digital technologies and their applications, and collaborates closely on these topics with many governments and companies worldwide.

Kymlicka has a BA in philosophy and politics from Queen’s University in 1984, and a DPhil in philosophy from Oxford University in 1987. He is the author of 7 books published by Oxford University Press. He is currently the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University. His works have been translated into over 30 languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. From 2004-6, he was the President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy.

With degrees from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University, Margaret Levi joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 1974 and Stanford in 2014, where she directs the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. She served as president of the American Political Science Association and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2019, Margaret received the Johan Skytte Prize, the political science equivalent of a Nobel. Her avocation is Australian Aboriginal art; her husband and she are avid collectors.

Justyna Olko directs Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity at the University of Warsaw. She specializes in history, sociolinguistics, language revitalization as well as decolonizing research practices. Co-author and co-editor of Revitalizing Endangered Languages. A Practical Guide (Cambridge UP, 2020) and a recipient of the European Research Council grant and the Twinning grant of the European Commission, Olko currently leads a team project Language as a cure: linguistic vitality as a tool for psychological well-being, health and economic sustainability.

Full Professor in Anthropology at USP, Global and Visiting Professor at Princeton. Published several books, 5 in English: Spectacle of Races, The Emperors beard, Brazil: a biography; Brazil reader. Curator of some exhibitions like: Mestizo Histories, Afroatlantic histories. Fellow at the Guggenheim Foundation (2006/ 2007), John Carter Brown Library (2007); visiting professor at Oxford, Leiden, Ècole des Hautes Etudes, Tinker Professor at Columbia University. Holds a Commend of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit. Since 2015 she is co-curator at MASP.

Andreas Reckwitz studied sociology, political science and philosophy at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg and Cambridge. After completing his doctorate in 1999 and his habilitation in 2005 in Hamburg, he was professor for general sociology and cultural sociology at the University of Konstanz from 2005 to 2010, from 2010 to 2020 professor for cultural sociology at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt / Oder and has been professor for since 2020 General sociology and cultural sociology at the Humboldt University Berlin.  In 2015 he received the magnum opus funding from the Volkswagen Foundation and in 2017 the Bavarian Book Prize. In 2018 he was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and in 2019 he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation.

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